Netflix has fired an employee for leaking confidential financial information about Dave Chappelle’s special The Closer.
A Bloomberg report published on Wednesday (October 13) stated Netflix spent $24.1million on The Closer and $23.6million on the comedian’s 2019 special, Sticks & Stones, comparing them to the $3.9million spent for Bo Burnham’s Inside and Squid Game’s $21.4million.
From internal documents seen by the publication, the Sticks & Stones special was measured as having an “impact value” of $19.4million by Netflix, meaning it cost more than the value it generated.
In a statement released to NME, a Netflix spokesperson said: “We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company. 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.”
As reported by Verge, the employee, who wasn’t named for fear of online harassment, was reportedly a leader of the trans employee resource group who was organising a walkout on October 20 in protest of Netflix’s handling of the Chappelle special.
The Closer has faced criticism for Chappelle’s jokes around gender identities, where he labelled himself “team TERF” while discussing the controversy around Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
Following criticism and internal disputes, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the special in a memo addressed to staff and said it will not be taken down, believing The Closer isn’t “designed to incite hate or violence”.
Along with LGBTQ+ advocacy groups like GLAAD, comedian Hannah Gadsby, who has her own hit Netflix special Nanette, has criticised the platform for its defense of Chappelle.
In an Instagram post, Gadsby wrote: “You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”