Netflix fires employee who leaked cost details of Dave Chappelle special 'The Closer'

Documentary has caused some controversy since it was released by those who claim it contains prejudiced remarks

Netflix has fired an employee for disclosing confidential financial information about what it paid for Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, it said on Friday.

The employee, who wasn't named, shared “confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company," the company said.

Since the special was released earlier in October, it has gained criticism by some who deem it to be transphobic.

“We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company,” read the statement.

It said the information was referenced in a Bloomberg news article, which reported that Netflix spent $24.1 million on The Closer, which was first broadcast on October 5. The article also mentioned the lower budgets for a 2019 Chappelle special, a Bo Burnham special and the nine-episode hit Squid Game.

Netflix said a review of its internal access logs pinpointed the information to a single person, who “admitted that they downloaded and shared sensitive company information externally.”

The Closer has gained at least 10 million views since it premiered. However, Chappelle's remarks about the transgender community raised protests within Netflix and from LGBTQ activists.

The media watchdog group GLAAD said that “anti-LGBTQ content” violates Netflix’s policy to reject programmes that incite hate or violence.

However, Netflix co-chief executive Ted Sarandos told managers in an internal memo that the show doesn't cross “the line on hate" and will remain on the streaming service.

Several Netflix employees, including a software engineer who identifies as transgender, had criticised 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 do not uphold the values for which we are held,” said a Monday post on a public company Slack channel, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Updated: October 16th 2021, 10:25 AM
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