Now it has turned into a lawsuit.
Two Netflix employees at the heart of the Dave Chappelle controversy have filed labor charges against the company, alleging the streaming giant retaliated against them for engaging in protected activity.
B. Pagels-Minor, a Black trans program manager, was fired while organizing a walkout related to Netflix’s support of Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, which has been widely condemned as transphobic. Terra Field, a trans software engineer, was suspended after posting a viral tweet thread about the issue.
Netflix said it fired Pagels-Minor for allegedly leaking confidential information — a charge they have categorically denied. The company said Field was suspended for attending a director-level meeting she wasn’t supposed to, though it reinstated her after finding no ill intent. In the charge, Field says she and hundreds of other Netflix employees were invited to attend the meeting.
Now, the employees are filing unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. They say Netflix’s actions were designed to stop workers from speaking out about their working conditions, including the desire to create a safe environment for Netflix staff.
“This charge is not just about B. and Terra, and it’s not about Dave. It’s about trying to change the culture and having an impact for others,” says attorney Laurie Burgess. “The charge is all about collective action. It’s about supporting your coworkers and speaking up for things you care about.”