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Netflix fires employee who leaked information about Dave Chappelle special

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Netflix has fired an unidentified employee who leaked internal information about Dave Chappelle's controversial stand-up special The Closer, which has drawn criticism for the comedian's treatment of transgender people and "cancel culture." The leaked information was referenced in a Bloomberg article this week that revealed Netflix spent $24.1 million on the special, more than the entire first season of the blockbuster series Squid Game cost.

"We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company," a Netflix spokesperson said Friday in a statement provided to EW. "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."

While the employee's identity has not been disclosed, The Verge reported that the individual was the leader of a transgender employee resource group and had been organizing a planned walkout on Oct. 20 in protest of the special.

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle

Mathieu Bitton/Netflix Dave Chappelle in 'The Closer'

Earlier this week, Netflix suspended and then reinstated three employees for attending a leadership meeting without permission, including software engineer Terra Field, who identifies as trans and had publicly criticized The Closer. In the special, Chappelle, who has frequently mocked trans people in his comedy, made further remarks about the LGBTQ community, including comments about trans women's genitalia. The Closer has been roundly criticized by numerous writers and LGBTQ groups, including GLAAD.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, however, defended the special in two separate memos to Netflix staff, stating, "We don't allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe The Closer crosses that line," and that "content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world harm."

Sarandos' remarks have led to an unusual amount of turmoil at Netflix this week, with many employees reportedly incensed at his defense of the special. Meanwhile, Hannah Gadsby became the first comedian who has worked with Netflix to publicly comment on the situation, telling Sarandos, "F‑‑‑ you and your amoral algorithm cult" in an Instagram post Friday, adding, "I do s‑‑‑s with more back bone than you."

With reporting from Jethro Nededog.

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