Netflix Humor Special Causes Data Leakage, Dismissal and March – 10/15/2021

In addition to the outcry that comedian Dave Chappelle always provokes with his aggressive humor, his latest show for Netflix, “Closing,” is producing a wave of unheard of trouble.

The transgender jokes, one of the main themes of the new special, generated a very strong reaction within Netflix itself. This Friday (15), an employee was fired on charges of leaking sensitive company data about the production costs of several programs, including Chappelle’s.

The data was released by Bloomberg. They show that Netflix spent $24.1 million on “Closing,” a little more than the $23.6 million it paid for Chappelle’s previous special, “Sticks & Stones,” from 2019. The streaming service spent $3.9 million on “Inside,” Bo Burnham’s recent special, which earned multiple awards.

Even more surprising, Chappelle’s special, seen by 10 million subscribers to date, cost Netflix more than “Round 6,” the most-watched show in the company’s history, which came out for $21.4 million.

The data leak included the disclosure of two indexes used by Netflix. “Sticks & Stones” had an “impact value” of $19.4 million, meaning it cost more than the value generated, according to internal documents revealed by Bloomberg. The other indicator used by the company to evaluate its programs is “efficiency,” that is, the relationship between cost and reach. On that scale, Chappelle’s special scored 0.8 – less than the break-even score of 1. In comparison, Burnham’s “Inside” scored 2.8.

Netflix has confirmed the dismissal of the person accused of having leaked this data. “We fired an employee for sharing confidential and commercially sensitive information outside the company,” a company spokesman said in a statement to Variety. “We understand that this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and heartache with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is critical to our company.”

A virtual protest organized by transgender Netflix employees over Chappelle’s special is scheduled for next Wednesday (20th). According to the Gizmodo website, around 1,000 employees are planning to join the protest.

The Verge website claimed that the fired employee, a pregnant black woman, was the leader of the transgender employee group and was organizing the protest on the 20th.

Earlier this week, three company employees were suspended for participating in a meeting to which they had not been invited. Among them was Terra Field, the author of a series of Twitter posts critical of the comedian’s special. Netflix said the suspension was not because of social media comments: “Our employees are encouraged to disagree and we support their right to do so.” A day later, the suspension was reviewed.

In an internal memo, Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix, defended the “Closing” showing. “As with other talents of ours, we work hard to support creative freedom – even if it means there will always be content on Netflix that some people believe is offensive,” he said.

“Many of you have also asked where we draw the hate line. We do not allow Netflix titles that are intended to incite hatred or violence, and we do not believe ‘Closing’ crosses that line. it’s difficult, especially with stand-up comedy, which exists to push the boundaries,” Sarandos said.

About Hrishikesh Bhardwaj

Tv specialist. Falls down a lot. Typical troublemaker. Hipster-friendly advocate. Food fan.

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