It’s Netflix’s word against a former employee’s.
Earlier this month, the streaming giant confirmed it had a fired a staffer for allegedly leaking data regarding Dave Chappelle’s The Closer, his sixth and final standup special under his 2016 Netflix deal. The comedy event set off a wave of backlash among viewers, activists, and even Netflix employees, some of whom staged a protest against the special.
Ex-staffer B. Pagels-Minor is credited with helping organize this week’s walkout, which went down less than a week after they were handed a pink slip. Netflix claimed they had fired an employee for leaking confidential information to the public. The data — published in an Oct. 13 Bloomberg report — reveals Netflix spent more than $24 million on The Closer, nearly $3 million more than what it spent on the wildly popular Squid Game series. The information, along with Pagels-Minor’s subsequent termination, fueled outrage over the controversial special, which has been deemed sexist, homophobic, and anti-trans.
But Pagels-Minor, who is also trans, claims they did not leak Netflix’s internal figures to the press, but admitted to sharing sensitive information with co-workers.
“I collected the data, but I did not leak the data,” Pagels-Minor told NPR, adding the company did not give them a chance to prove their innocence. “It was just like, ‘Hey, you’re the person. You’re gone.’”