Netflix Employee Resigns After Long Battle Over Dave Chappelle’s Controversial Special

By Charlene Badasie | 16 seconds ago

dave chappelle netflix

A Netflix employee who criticized Dave Chappelle over his controversial comedy television special, The Closer, has resigned from the company. Terra Field, a senior software engineer at the streaming giant, announced her voluntary resignation on social media. She has also dropped a labor complaint previously filed with fellow trans colleague B. Pagels-Minor.

In a letter shared on Twitter, Field said this isn’t how she thought things would end. However, she feels relieved to have closure. She also took a moment to thank her team at Netflix, saying that although they only had a few months working together, she felt, safe, supported, and included. The software engineer added that she felt very at home there which meant the world to her.

Following her resignation, a Netflix spokesman said the company and Field had resolved their differences in a way that acknowledges the erosion of trust on both sides. They sincerely hoped their newfound mutual understanding enables everyone to move on from the problems caused by the Dave Chappelle special (via Deadline).

Terra Field initially made her voice heard in October, following the debut of Dave Chappelle’s Netflix comedy special The Closer. Directed by Stan Lathan and recorded in 2021 throughout seven sold-out performances, the show was the comedian’s sixth and final special under his 2016 deal with Netflix. Unfortunately, his set included segments that joke about the discrimination against the African American community relative to the discrimination against the LGBTQ community.  

While the Netflix show received mixed reviews from critics, LGBTQ groups called for the special’s removal from the service. As such, Terra Field and some of her co-workers criticized and protested Dave Chappelle’s jokes about the transgender community. But Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos repeatedly defended the special as freedom of artistic expression.

As is the norm these days, Field who is a trans woman according to her Twitter profile publicly discussed what her issues were with the Netflix special. She explained why it was more than simply being offended because she felt the Dave Chappelle special was a dangerous one for Netflix to release. She was suspended shortly after airing her grievances, which increased the controversy around the show.

Although Field was quickly reinstated, the damage was already done. Interestingly, Netflix insisted that the viral tweet she posted wasn’t the reason for her suspension. She (along with two other employees) had also reportedly attempted to attend a director-level meeting that she wasn’t invited to. It is unclear if they were also suspended. Her reasons for trying to attend this meeting were not disclosed. But many assume it was to discuss the Dave Chappelle special.

Meanwhile, Dave Chappelle has spoken out about the controversy over his Netflix special, in a new stand-up video. He said that he’s willing to meet with transgender Netflix employees or other members of the trans community, but won’t bend to anybody’s demands. According to Variety, Chappelle remained unapologetic about the special despite its alllegedly transphobic and homophobic content that led to a walkout at Netflix. The comedian remains defiant saying, “I said what I said.”