Trans employee who criticised Netflix for releasing Dave Chappelle special resigns

‘This isn’t how I thought things would end, but I am relieved to have closure’

Maanya Sachdeva
Tuesday 23 November 2021 05:30
Dave Chappelle Responds To Backlash About Netflix Special

The Netflix employee who criticised the streaming giant’s decision to release Dave Chappelle’s controversial comedy special The Closer has resigned.

Netflix software engineer Terra Field tweeted a copy of her resignation letter on Tuesday (22 November).

“I‘m not happy that this is how things turned out, but I do think this outcome is the best for all parties involved,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #NetflixWalkout.

Field’s resignation follows her explosive 7 October tweet in which she called Chappelle out for attacking “the very validity of trans-ness” in The Closer.

At the time, Field’s social media post triggered severe backlash against the special, during which Chappelle said he was “Team TERF [which stands for trans exclusionary radical feminist]” like Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Field was also among the Netflix employees who organised worker-led protests to push for more inclusive content on the streaming platform and greater trans representation across the company’s leadership roles.

Explaining her decision to quit Netflix, Field said she was resigning over the alleged wrongful termination of B Pagels-Minor, a fellow trans Netflix employee who was also among the organisers of the 20 October walkout to protest Chappelle’s special.

In her resignation letter, Field wrote: “Shortly after B [Pagels-Minor] was fired for something I did not and do not believe they did, I made a decision: sink or swim, I was going to walk side by side with B.”

Netflix has maintained that Pagels-Minor was fired for sharing confidential financial figures pertaining to Chappelle’s special, including how much the streamer paid to acquire its rights.

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It has been reported that Field and Pagels-Minor have also withdrawn an unfair labour practice charge against Netflix for allegedly retaliating against them for organising the trans employee walkout.

In a comment to NBC News, a spokesperson for Netflix said the company and its former employees “have resolved our differences in a way that acknowledges the erosion of trust on both sides and, we hope, enables everyone to move on.”

Pagels-Minor was pregnant when the Los Angeles-based entertainment company terminated their employment.

Sharing an update on their pregnancy, Field said Pagels-Minor had just had their son and that they were both “happy and healthy”.

“I want to focus on the joy, not the heartache,” Field continued.

Field was among three employees who were briefly suspended for allegedly trying to attend a director-level meeting after she tweeted against the polarising comedy special. All three employees were later reinstated after an internal Netflix investigation revealed no wrongdoing on their part.

Since the controversy around The Closer began last month, Chappelle has doubled down on his remarks.

Addressing the protesting employees in an Instagram video, released on 25 October, the comedian said he will not be “bending to anyone’s demands.”

He also thanked Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos for his support, joking that he was the only one who hadn’t cancelled the comedian yet.

At the end of her letter, Field said she would be taking time off to “rest, recover, and consider what I want to do next.”

“Hopefully the time will allow me to remember the things I love and miss about this work.”

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