B. Pagels-Minor, a trans employee who was fired by Netflix for leaking confidential financial information, accuses the streaming giant of taking revenge on them for talking about Dave Chappelle’s comedy, The Closer.
A work complaint to the National Employment Relations Committee was filed Wednesday on behalf of Pagels-Minor and transprogram engineer Terra Field, who was temporarily suspended for failing a management meeting before being reinstated. Pagels-Minor denied the leak of information, which ended in a Bloomberg article on October 13.
“We recognize the pain and the pain they have caused our trans colleagues over the last few weeks. However, we want to clarify that Netflix did not take action against employees because they spoke up or left, ”a Netflix spokesman said in a statement.
The complaint, obtained by TheWrap, states that Netflix “engaged in the above activity to discourage employees from talking about working conditions, including, but not limited to, efforts to create a safe and affirmative work environment for employees in Netflix, which talked about Netflix products and the impact of its product choices on the LGBTQ + community, and providing support to employees who were treated by Netflix in an illegal and disproportionate manner.
“This accusation is not just about B. and Terro and not about Dave. It’s about trying to change the culture and influence others, “said Laurie Burgess, a lawyer representing both he told The Verge. “The accusation relates to collective action. It’s about supporting your co-workers and advocating for the things that matter to you. “
Pagels-Minor was fired earlier this month for his constant response to Chappell’s latest special, “The Closer”. Netflix said they were released “for sharing confidential, business-sensitive information outside the company,” although Netflix acknowledged that they “may have been motivated by frustration and hurt with Netflix.”
The disclosed data first appeared in a Bloomberg article from October 13th which details the cost of Chappella’s special comedies compared to other projects on the streaming service. “Sticks and Stones,” released in 2019, cost Netflix $ 23.6 million and “The Closer” $ 24.1 million. According to Bloomberg, documents show that “Sticks & Stones” had an “impact value” of $ 19.4 million, meaning it cost more than the value it generated.
The response to “The Closer” is the result of a long segment that discusses trans people, which includes transphobic jokes and comments. It attracted strong criticism from activists and within Netflix itself, and inspired Wednesday’s protest departure of trans-officers and allies. Read more here and here.
On October 20, trans employees and their allies organized a walk around the entire company, supported by a rally in front of the Netflix office in Los Angeles.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.