Comedian Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special sparked heated controversey due to his jokes about the LGBT community that caused activists to be outraged.
During his sixth and final Netflix special, “The Closer,” Chappelle defended J.K. Rowling for her comments defending biological sex and declared that he was a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” (TERF). He also said he wanted to “negotiate the release of DaBaby,” a popular rapper whose comments about AIDS enraged the LGBT community.
A trans senior engineer at Netflix accused Chapelle of attacking “the very validity of transness” and “trying to pit us against other marginalized groups.” Terra Fied, who also identifies as queer and polyamorous, said that trans people object to “the harm that content like this does to the trans community.”
Jaclyn Moore, the executive producer and the showrunner of Netflix’s “Dear White People,” said that she was “done” working with Netflix after the special aired.
“I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix,” Moore said on Twitter. “Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art … But I’ve been thrown against walls because, ‘I’m not a ‘real’ woman.’ I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @Netflix, I’m done.” (RELATED: ‘Gender Is A Fact’: They’re Not Going To Be Happy With Dave Chappelle’s Latest Bit On Trans Culture)
Chappelle was one of my heroes. I was at his comeback show in NYC. But he said he’s a TERF. He compared my existence to someone doing blackface. He talks about someone winning a Woman of the Year award despite never having a period should make women mad and that it makes him mad.
— Jaclyn Moore (@JaclynPMoore) October 7, 2021
The LGBT media organization GLAAD also claimed that “Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities.”
“Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don’t support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes,” GLAAD said. “We agree.”
Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don’t support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree. https://t.co/yOIyT54819
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 6, 2021
NPR published a scathing review of the special, arguing that it “goes too far.”
Although the author, Eric Deggans, admits that Chappelle “is one of the most brilliant stand-up comics in the business,” he claims that The Closer “just sounds like Chappelle is using white privilege to excuse his own homophobia and transphobia.”
The Guardian was also not a fan of The Closer. The outlet claimed that Chappelle “triples down on the phobia” and calls his jokes “plain weak.”
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) urged Netflix to pull the show.
“It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform,” NBJC told Deadline in a statement. “With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence.”
“Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community,” they said.