Los Angeles (AP) – Netflix said Friday it had fired an employee for disclosing confidential financial information it paid for Dave Chappelle’s comedy special “The Closer,” which was condemned by some as transphobic.
A Netflix statement said the employee, who did not wish to be named, shared “confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company.”
“We understand that this employee may have been motivated by frustration and hurt from Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is important to our company,” the statement said.
The statement said the information was referenced in a Bloomberg news article that reported Netflix spent $24.1 million on “The Closer,” which first aired last week. The article also mentions the low budget for the 2019 Chappelle Special, the Bo Burnham Special and the nine-episode hit “Squid Game”.
Dave Chappelle attends the Netflix FYSEE kick-off event at Raleigh Studios at Netflix FYSEE on May 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
Netflix said a review of its internal access logs revealed information to an individual who “admitted that they externally downloaded and shared sensitive company information.”
“The Closer,” first aired on October 1 and garnered at least 10 million views. However, Chappelle’s comments about the transgender community sparked protests on Netflix and within LGBTQ activists.
Media watchdog group GLAAD said “anti-LGBTQ content” violates Netflix’s policy of rejecting programs that incite hate or violence.
However, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos told managers in an internal memo that the show does not cross the “hate line” and will remain on the streaming service.
Several Netflix employees, including a software engineer who identifies as transgender, criticized the special. Transgender employees and their co-workers are being urged to stage a walkout next Wednesday in protest.
“Our leadership has shown us that they don’t uphold the values for which we are placed,” the Los Angeles Times reported in a Monday post on the Slack channel, a public company.