Netflix fires pregnant organizer from trans employee walkout

Image titled Netflix fired pregnant organizer for trans employee walkout

Photo: Mario Tama / Staff (Getty Images)

Dave Chappelle’s collapse at Netflix continued on Friday after reports revealed the company fired a pregnant executive from its transgender employee resource group who had been instrumental in organizing the event. a neighbor Work stoppage of October 20.

Although Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the company confirmed to The edge that the employee in question, who declined to be officially identified due to fears of online harassment, was fired on suspicion of disclosing to the press measures related to Chappelle’s controversial comedy special, The closest.

“We fired an employee for sharing confidential and commercially sensitive information outside of the company,” Netflix said in its statement. “We understand that this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt by Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is at the heart of our business.”

Among the leaked documents, which ended up in a Wednesday Bloomberg report, was the disclosure that Netflix paid Chappelle $ 24.1 million for The closest, a little more than the 23.6 million dollars he paid him for his previous special, that of 2019 Sticks & Stones. This payment – huge even by Netflix standards – comes despite the fact that, according to internal data also shared with Bloomberg, Netflix concluded that Sticks & Stones had achieved an “impact value” of $ 19.4 million, meaning it cost more than the value it generated. The disclosures also revealed that the 2019 special scored 0.8 on the company’s “efficiency” scale, which rates Streamer programming in terms of cost and reach (a balance score is 1).

Such leaks are particularly important because they are unprecedented in the history of the company. Although Netflix executives proclaim loud and clear that they value a culture of “radical transparency” and regularly share internal data with employees on a routine basis, employees are expressly prohibited from sharing this data outside the company. . The fact that employees pass internal data to the press is proof of the difficult internal climate at Netflix right now, and signifies how unhappy some workers have become with the company’s decision to defend the Chappelle special.

In The closest, Chappelle denounces the cancellation of culture and openly denigrates the transgender community, expressing skepticism about the existence of gender identities and describing the struggles for justice faced by black and trans communities as being fundamentally at odds with them. with each other, as if there was no overlap between the two groups. In reality, of course, the oppression and violence the two groups face are very often intertwined – a key reason, as a former employee at The Verge put it, that so many people are furious that the company has took action against a black and pregnant employee.

“All of these white people are talking to the press and speaking publicly on Twitter and the only person who is fired is the black person who was silent all the time,” said the employee. “This is absurd, and it shows even more that black trans people are the targets of this conversation.”

In a separate incident, another Netflix employee, Terra Field, a senior software engineer who identifies as gay and trans, was sanctioned along with two other workers after the company accused them of spying on a meeting with executives they did not were not allowed to attend. (Field later wrote on Twitter that she had been reinstated in her post, and issued a written statement from the company confirming that there had been “no ill intentions” in her decision to attend the briefing.)

As outrage over Chappelle’s comments in the special swirled internally and online this week, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos chose to dismiss the concerns of trans allies and employees in a memo, arguing that “while some employees disagree, we strongly believe that on-screen content doesn’t translate directly into real-world harm.

“The strongest supporting evidence is that screen violence has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, especially with proprietary shooters, and yet violent crime has declined dramatically in many countries,” wrote Sarandos. “Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them to hurt others.”

At this point, Netflix’s response to the controversy has been a case study of how not to make a scandal go away. Instead of considering the outrage the special sparked and quietly dealing with internal employee dissatisfaction, company management has repeatedly dismissed worker concerns, fired black and trans employees, and made redundancies. bizarre claims that derogatory comments about the LGBTQ community don’t translate into reality. -world badly.

Whatever Netflix is ​​doing here, it’s a case study of how to perpetuate a cycle of bad news indefinitely, how to make your brand worse and worse with each passing day, and how to piss off and alienate nearly every band from. people marginalized all at once. We are waiting to see the rest.

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