The recent Dave Chappelle standup special has sparked a rift between employees and management.
Several weeks ago, Netflix released the last in a series of standup comedy specials starring Dave Chappelle. This last special, titled The Closer, included Chappelle’s comments on the transgender community, which drew severe blowback from the LGBTQ+ community both outside and, more pertinently, inside of Netflix’s staff.
Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive of Netflix, sent a message to senior staff speaking out in support of the company’s partnership with Chappelle and his special. “Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him,” he said.
In response, multiple Netflix employees will be stopping their work today in protest. Numerous others have leaked multiple internal company memos to outline their concerns with the office climate. “Netflix does this under this tech banner of ‘this is about freedom of information and we’re not going to stand in the way of artists’,” a former executive told the Financial Times. “It has almost been a competitive edge to cable television, because [streaming] wasn’t held to the same standards.”
“What has kept this from happening before is that they pay everyone so much,” a former employee explained. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a salary under $100,000 at Netflix. I’ve never seen leaks like this, but now the floodgates are a little open.”