A Netflix employee who spoke out against Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special “The Closer” said she has resigned, capping a volatile period for the streaming giant marked by protests, lawsuits and mea culpas.
The employee, Terra Field, a senior software engineer, said in a letter posted online that she voluntarily exited the company as of Sunday. Field, who is transgender, has been critical of Chappelle’s Oct. 1 special, which included remarks about the trans community many took as disparaging.
“This isn’t how I thought things would end, but I’m relieved to have closure,” Field said in the resignation letter posted late Monday.
The same day as her resignation, Field and her former coworker, B. Pagels-Minor, a game launch operations program manager who also is trans, dropped a complaint against Netflix filed with the National Labor Relations Board, according to the streaming giant.
The complaint alleged that the company kept employees from speaking up about working conditions.
Laurie Burgess, a labor lawyer representing the former employees said Tuesday that the parties resolved their differences with Netflix, but she declined to provide specifics about the negotiations, including whether there was a settlement.
“My clients, Terra and B., are very courageous and inspiring people and were able to shed light on an important topic in a thoughtful and meaningful way,” Burgess said.
Netflix didn’t return requests for comment.
B. Pagels-Minor was fired from Netflix last month for allegedly leaking financial information, including what the streamer paid for “The Closer,” that ended up appearing in a Bloomberg story. Pagels-Minor denied the allegations.
Field, meanwhile, was suspended in October, after she spoke out against Chappelle, for allegedly attending an online meeting of senior Netflix executives without permission. She was quickly reinstated by the company.
The former software engineer said her resignation was due in part to Pagels-Minor’s exit.
The duo had helped organize an employee walk-out on Oct. 20, which included a rally at Netflix offices in Los Angeles led by trans activists.
Chappelle supporters also came out in droves, clashing with LGBTQ advocates, and carrying signs bearing slogans like “Jokes are Funny” and “We Like Dave.”
In the weeks leading up to the walkout, Netflix faced mounting criticism from celebrities and employees inside the company amid suspensions and statements from Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos defending Chappelle’s “creative freedom.”
On the eve of the protest, Sarandos admitted he “screwed up” his response to the fallout.
“What I should have led with in those emails was humanity,” Sarandos told The Wall Street Journal. “I should have recognized the fact that a group of our employees was really hurting.”
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]