Two former Netflix employees who criticised anti-transgender comments on Dave Chappelle’s TV special are dropping workplace complaints and one has resigned from the company.
Terra Field, a senior software engineer who is trans, voluntarily resigned as of Sunday.
“This isn’t how I thought things would end, but I’m relieved to have closure,” Field said in a resignation letter posted online.
Chappelle's The Closer first aired on October 1 and gained millions of views. However, Chapelle’s disparaging remarks about the transgender community raised protests within Netflix and from activists.
He previously said he was “team TERF”, which stands for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’, a term mostly used as a pejorative by those who support rights of trans women to be treated as women.
About 30 Netflix workers staged an October 20 walkout and joined a rally at Netflix offices in Los Angeles.
Field was suspended by the company after attending a business meeting for senior executives but was quickly reinstated.
Field and B. Pagels-Minor, a game launch operations programme manager who also is trans, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. They alleged that Netflix retaliated against the workers to keep them from speaking up about working conditions, including “Netflix’s products and the impact of its product choices on the LGBTQ+ community."
“We have resolved our differences in a way that acknowledges the erosion of trust on both sides and, we hope, enables everyone to move on,” Netflix said in a statement on Monday.
Pagels-Minor has acknowledged that they were the employee that Netflix fired last month for allegedly disclosing confidential financial information about what it paid for The Closer. The information was referenced in a Bloomberg news article.
Pagels-Minor has denied the allegations.
Netflix ran into a buzz-saw of criticism not only with the special but in how internal memos responded to employees’ concerns, including co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ assertion that “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”
Sarandos also wrote that Netflix doesn’t allow titles that are “designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe ‘The Closer’ crosses that line.”
Netflix continues to make the special available for streaming.