Netflix disputes the claims of a fired staffer that they did not leak confidential information about the streamer’s payment to Dave Chappelle for his latest comedy special, The Closer.
Former Netflix employee B. Pagels-Minor, who was also one of the organizers of Wednesday’s walkout by transgender Netflix staffers, was fired last week for allegedly leaking sensitive information about the company.
“I did collect the data. But I did not leak the data,” Pagels-Minor said in an interview with NPR on Wednesday.
Pagels-Minor was a senior data product manager for membership and finance engineering before moving to Netflix’s game launch department.
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Pagels-Minor said they were not given a chance to make the case that they did not leak the data. But Netflix insists they “admitted” sharing the information.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the streaming giant told Deadline, “While we would never normally talk about an investigation like this, these claims are not supported by the facts.”
“This employee admitted sharing confidential information externally from their Netflix email on several occasions,” the Netflix spokesperson continued.
The spokesperson also said the employee “wiped their devices, making any further investigation impossible.”
According to the leaked data published in a Bloomberg article on Oct. 13, Chappelle was paid $24.1 million for his sixth special for the streamer.
As soon as it debuted on Oct. 5, The Closer ignited a firestorm over Chappelle’s comments about transgender people and the gay community.
In the special, the comeian defended embattled rapper DaBaby who’s been canceled by music festivals and some fans for his homophobic rant on stage in July.
In his musings, Chappelle noted the power of the gay community to torpedo DaBaby’s once-thriving career. “If slaves had baby oil and booty shorts, we might have been free 100 years sooner,” he said. The comic also mentioned “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who was criticized for making comments on Twitter some considered “anti-trans.”
“I agree, man. Gender is a fact,” Chappelle said. “Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact.”
On Tuesday, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos told the Wall Street Journal he “screwed up” in his internal communication with employees who were upset about the content of the comedy special.
Transgender Netflix employees and hundreds of their supporters who protested outside the streamer’s offices in Hollywood vowed “we’re not going away.”