Netflix employees file unfair labour charge following Dave Chappelle controversy

One employee believes that they were fired for retaliating against the stand-up special

Two former Netflix employees have filed a complaint against the platform, with one claiming that they were fired for speaking out against the Dave Chappelle stand-up special.

The pair submitted the complaint with the National Labour Relations Board after saying that one was fired and the other was suspended and then reinstated back into the company for retaliating against the platform’s decision to defend Chappelle’s controversial comments about the trans community.

As reported by IndieWire, the filing has accused Netflix of “engag[ing] in the above activity [firing] to quell employees from speaking up about working conditions including, but not limited to, seeking to create a safe and affirming work environment for Netflix employees, speaking up about Netflix’s products and the impact of its product choices on the LGBTQ+ community, and providing support for employees whom Netflix has treated in an unlawful and disparate manner.”


Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle’s special ‘The Closer’ CREDIT: Netflix

The streaming platform allegedly fired B. Pagels-Minor, a Netflix program manager, for providing information to a Bloomberg article revealing that the streamer paid $24.1million for Chappelle’s stand-up.

Meanwhile Terra Field, a software engineer, was suspended (and later reinstated) after attending a company meeting meant only for executives.

However, Netflix has denied the allegations. “We recognise the hurt and pain caused to our trans colleagues over the last few weeks. But we want to make clear that Netflix has not taken any action against employees for either speaking up or walking out,” a spokesperson for the platform said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Netflix (Picture: Chesnot/Getty Images)

Netflix voicing its support for Chappelle resulted in a mass virtual walkout from employees on October 20.


A number of stars associated with Netflix have backed the walkout, including Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness and actor Jameela Jamil.

Elliot Page was also among those to voice their support. “I stand with the trans, nonbinary, and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace,” he wrote on Instagram.