Netflix has fired an employee for sharing confidential and “commercially sensitive” information outside of the company regarding Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special, a spokesperson for the streaming giant confirmed Friday.
The news comes five days before a planned strike by workers in protest against the special, which GLAAD and other LGBTQ advocacy groups have criticized as transphobic.
The company spokesperson could not identify the employee.
“We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix,” the spokesperson said in a statement, “but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our business.”
The confidential information appeared in a Bloomberg article about the Chappelle resistance that was published Wednesday. News of the employee’s layoff was first reported by The Verge.
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Netflix’s internal practices and policies state that employees are provided with information that is not publicly known and should not be shared outside the company.
The streamer has faced intense public furor over the past week over Chappelle’s special, “The Closer.” Some have argued that the comedian’s material could harm transgender people.
The special has also caused tensions within the company.
Jaclyn Moore, the showrunner of the Netflix series “Dear White People,” said last week that she would not work with the streamer “as long as they continue to put out and take advantage of shameless and dangerously transphobic content.”
The company previously suspended a transgender employee who criticized the Chappelle special on Twitter, though a spokesperson denied that her tweets were the reason for her suspension. The employee tweeted Tuesday evening that she had been recovered.
Netflix has declined to comment on the uproar, though co-CEO Ted Sarandos has reportedly defended Chappelle’s “creative freedom” and told employees the company would not remove “The Closer” from its employ.
“We’re working hard to…support creative freedom — even if it means there will always be content on Netflix that some people think is harmful,” Ted Sarandos, a co-CEO, said in a memo from October 8 to the staff. obtained by The Verge.