A Trans Netflix Employee Who Criticized Chappelle’s Special Has Resigned

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Update, November 22, 11:30 p.m.: Terra Field, a trans Netflix employee who criticized Dave Chappelle’s special The Closer, announced Monday that she had resigned from the company on November 21. “I’m not happy that this is how things turned out, but I do think this outcome is the best for all parties involved,” Field tweeted. The senior software engineer shared a copy of the resignation letter that she sent to her team and the trans employee resource group at Netflix. In the letter, Field references her Black trans colleague B. Pagels-Minor, who organized worker-led protests at the company. “Shortly after B. was fired for something I did not and do not believe they did, I made a decision: sink or swim, I was going to walk side by side with B. as they had for so many of us while they led the Trans* ERG,” Field wrote. “Last week, B. had their son. They are both happy and healthy, and for me that is the note that I’d like this chapter of my life to end on. I want to focus on the joy, not the heartache.”

According to NBC News, Field and Pagels-Minor have dropped charges of unfair labor practices that they previously filed against the streamer. Laurie Burgess, the attorney representing the pair, said her “clients have resolved their differences with Netflix and will be voluntarily withdrawing their NLRB charge.” A Netflix spokesperson told NBC that the company and employees “have resolved our differences in a way that acknowledges the erosion of trust on both sides and, we hope, enables everyone to move on.”

Original story follows.

Two Netflix employees have filed charges of unfair labor practices against the streamer, in the latest development tied to the ongoing controversy around Dave Chappelle’s special The Closer. According to the Verge, Black trans program manager B. Pagels-Minor and trans software engineer Terra Field have alleged to the National Labor Relations Board that the streamer retaliated against them for engaging in protected activity. Chappelle’s special has been widely criticized as transphobic, and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has also come under fire for his response to the backlash. Pagels-Minor, who is 35 weeks pregnant, was fired while organizing a company-wide walkout of trans employees and allies on October 20. Field was suspended after she posted a critical Twitter thread about The Closer. In a statement, Netflix said it recognized 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.” The streamer has alleged that Pagels-Minor was fired for leaking confidential information, a claim which Pagels-Minor has denied. According to Netflix, Field was suspended for attending a meeting without permission and reinstated once it was determined that there was no ill intent. In the labor charge, Field states that she was actually among hundreds of employees invited to the meeting. Field, who was reportedly doxxed and sent a credible death threat after speaking out about the special, has since applied for medical leave.

Per Deadline, the paperwork filed on October 27 alleges that Netflix acted in order “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.” The claim will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, which is designed to protect the rights of most private sector employees to engage in actions such as organizing and collective bargaining. If the independent federal agency deems that a case has merit, it will attempt to facilitate a settlement or issue a complaint. “This is not just about B. and Terra, and it’s not about Dave,” Laurie Burgess, the attorney who filed the charge, told the Verge. “It’s about trying to change the culture and having an impact for others. The charge is all about collective action.”

Trans Netflix Worker Critical of Chappelle Special Resigns