Netflix—currently suffering a major PR black eye over the reactions to transphobic material in its Dave Chappelle comedy special The Closer—has opted to just keep punching itself in the face today, with The Verge reporting that one of the organizers of a planned virtual employee walkout at the company has just been fired.
The woman in question—whose identity is being kept anonymous, but who was a member of the company’s internal trans employee resource group, and has been reported as being both Black and pregnant—has been accused by the company of leaking some of its highly proprietary internal data.
And, in case you needed a reminder of the actual priorities the tech giant is bringing to bear on this issue, observe the swiftness with which it came down on somebody after Bloomberg got its hands on some of its normally highly secretive internal measurement metrics. That includes the exact price Netflix paid Chappelle for The Closer—$24.1 million, significantly more than it paid for the entire 10-episode TV series Squid Game, for comparison—as well as internal “efficiency” metrics that show that Chappelle’s impact and reach for the company don’t line up with his massive paydays. (2019's Sticks And Stones rated a 0.8 on the internal scale; Bo Burnham’s Inside was a 2.8.)
Or, to put it another way: Netflix is a big, big fan of free speech, unless you’re freely speaking about how much it pays a guy to spew transphobic rhetoric, which, company co-CEO Ted Sarandos laughably asserted in a recent memo, has never hurt anybody, ever—despite significant data showing that it encourages anti-trans violence.
The Netflix walkout is currently scheduled for October 20, and will reportedly involve more than 1,000 employees at the company—where internal anger over Sarandos’ defense of Chappelle has gotten bad enough for its legendary code of data silence to be broken. Anger from previous partners is also starting to boil over—most notably from comedian Hannah Gadsby, who recently countered Sarandos’ use of her work as a symbol of the company’s inclusive nature with a succinct, “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”