October 18, 2021

Black Trans Netflix Employee Who Was Fired And Accused Of Leaking Data Finally Speaks Out

B. Pagels-Minor was a program manager at Netflix before she was fired and accused of leaking internal numbers about Dave Chappelle’s show ‘The Closer’ to the media.

Chappelle’s latest stand-up comedy special, which was released on Oct. 5, has been widely criticized for including anti-trans jokes and for “attacking” the LGBTQ community.

But Pagels-Minor took it upon herself to help organize a protest to provoke change against attacks on the community. She claimed that by 4 pm on Oct. 14th  a walkout protest was announced and around 7 p.m – she was terminated.

She was told that while she “was a well-respected member of Netflix,” it seemed likely that she was the source of leaked information that appeared in the media — a charge she still firmly denies.

The online streaming giant fired the pregnant employee whose identity was not released for a long time for fear of potential harassment.

Pagels-Minor and others had encouraged trans employees and allies to walk out of work to protest Netflix’s handling of the Dave Chappelle special The Closer.

Getty Images (credit)

Speaking on the situation, she told Buzzfeed: “I didn’t want to be the face of this,” Pagels-Minor told BuzzFeed News. “I don’t want this to be about me. I want this to be about the commonality of, if we spend time learning and educating ourselves about others, then we’re better. I think that’s the real thing”

She wrote on a blog for the NYT: “The release of Chapelle’s special, “The Closer,” happened without consulting the Trans* Employee Resource Group (ERG), of which I was a member and coleader.

“The ERG might have recommended not releasing the special — but that if that wasn’t an option, we could have offered other ways to minimize the harm it could do to our community and to the company.

“But Netflix didn’t ask for guidance, deeply miscalculating the impact of this inflammatory, inaccurate and dangerous content.”

Pagels-Minor added that ultimately, this is not only a fight for the heart, soul, and long-term future of Netflix

She said it’s also about ensuring that hate won’t have a prominent space in the new world that’s coming.

About 100 people have already protested outside Netflix’s headquarters over the airing of a comedy special by Dave Chappelle, which they say was transphobic earlier this week. Demonstrators called on Netflix to fund more trans and non-binary talent, and other measures to avoid “transphobia and hate speech”.

A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement: “We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused. We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.

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