The fired Netflix staffer who helped organize the walkout says co-CEO ‘missed the point’ in his apology tour

Netflix's Ted Sarandos
Ted Sarandos. Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images
  • A fired Netflix staffer said co-CEO Ted Sarandos “missed the point” with his Chappelle apologies.
  • Sarandos said that he “screwed up the internal communication” but that he “supports artistic freedom.”
  • The staffer was fired for allegedly leaking internal Netflix data to the press, an accusation they deny.

The fired Netflix employee who was helping organize a company walkout, scheduled to happen Wednesday, responded to co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ apologies regarding the streamer’s controversial new Dave Chappelle standup special.

“Ted still misses the point, this isn’t about the special or taking it down,” B. Pagels-Minor said on Twitter on Tuesday. “It’s about parity in content. All we asked for was more trans content, investment in trans talent, and promoting trans content.”

They added in another tweet, “Nothing about that asks Netflix to completely change strategy.”

A Netflix spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Sarandos went on an apology tour on Tuesday about his communication around the Chappelle special, speaking with outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Deadline.

Sarandos told Deadline that he “screwed up the internal communication” and that he “should’ve made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made.”

“Of course storytelling has real impact in the real world,” Sarandos told Variety. “I reiterate that because it’s why I work here, it’s why we do what we do. That impact can be hugely positive, and it can be quite negative.”

He was referring to memos he sent in response to concerns over Chappelle’s special, “The Closer,” in which the comedian makes transphobic comments that have sparked ire from employees in recent weeks.

In an all-staff memo last week, Sarandos wrote in part, “We have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”

In his Tuesday interviews, Sarandos also doubled down on his defense of Netflix’s decision to release the special.

Sarandos told Deadline, “We are trying to please a world that is made of people of different tastes, sensibilities, and beliefs, and it becomes very difficult to do that for everybody.” And he told Variety that he supports “artistic freedom and the creators that work at Netflix.”

Pagels-Minor, who is trans and prefers gender neutral pronouns, told The New York Times that they were the fired after being accused of leaking internal data to the press, which they denied to the Times through a lawyer.

A Netflix spokesperson told the Times that “this employee admitted sharing confidential information externally from their Netflix email on several occasions.”

“They were the only employee to access detailed, sensitive data on four titles that later appeared in the press,” the Netflix spokesperson said.

In the special, Chappelle said that “gender is a fact” and mocked the trans community. He also defended “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling by exclaiming “Team TERF,” which stands for trans exclusionary radical feminist, a term which Rowling has identified herself as.