Netflix fired an employee for sharing confidential and “commercially sensitive” information outside the company related to Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special, a spokesperson for the streaming giant confirmed Friday.
The news comes five days before a planned employee walkout in protest of the special, which GLAAD and other LGBTQ advocacy groups have criticized as transphobic.
The company spokesperson did not identify the employee.
“We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix,” the spokesperson said in a statement, “but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”
The confidential information appeared in a Bloomberg article about the Chappelle backlash published Wednesday. The news of the employee’s termination was first reported by The Verge.
Netflix’s internal practices and policies state that employees are entrusted with information that is not publicly known and should not be shared outside the company.
The streamer has faced intense public furor in the last week over Chappelle’s special, “The Closer.” Some have argued the comedian’s material could incite harm against transgender people.
The special has stirred up tensions inside the company, too.
Jaclyn Moore, the showrunner of the Netflix series “Dear White People,” said last week she would not work with the streamer “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
The company previously suspended a transgender employee who criticized the Chappelle special on Twitter, although a spokesperson denied that her tweets were the reason for her suspension. The employee tweeted Tuesday night that she had been reinstated.
Netflix has declined to comment on the uproar, although co-CEO Ted Sarandos has reportedly defended Chappelle’s “creative freedom” and told employees the company would not remove “The Closer” from its service.
“We work hard to support … creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful,” Sarandos said in an Oct. 8 memo to staff, which was obtained by The Verge.