Not everyone finds Dave Chappelle‘s jokes in his new Netflix special to be a laughing matter.
While the immensely successful comedian’s program The Closer ranked No. 3 on the streaming platform this weekend, many found his bits to be offensive to the LGBTQ+ community. And this is not the first time. The 48-year-old star pokes fun at the past accusations about him in the new special and appears to double down, jokingly dubbing himself “transphobic comedian, Dave Chappelle.” Netflix has not commented on the criticism.
“When do we say enough, is enough?” YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous wrote on Instagram on Friday, Oct. 8. “When violent attacks on the community, and even more so on our transgender brothers and sisters, are at an all-time high when do we stop ignoring how damaging these ignorant transphobic ‘jokes’ actually are and how they contribute to the hate and violence we have to endure on a daily basis. Let’s just be clear here: WE ARE NOT A F–KING JOKE.”
Caitlyn Jenner responded, “You go girl! I’m with you.”
In his special, Chappelle says he has “never had a problem with transgender people.” He also says he’s “team TERF” [trans-exclusionary radical feminist] and agrees that “gender is a fact,” and also compares the genitalia of trans women to vegetarian meat substitutes.
Chappelle also jokes that rapper DaBaby, who was dropped from music festivals for making homophobic remarks, “punched the LBGTQ [sic] community right in the AIDS.” The comedian jokes he doesn’t “hate gay people” but rather respects them, aside from “the newer gays” he considers to be “too sensitive.” Chappelle also says he’s jealous of the progress the gay rights movement has made, adding, “I can’t help but feel like if slaves had baby oil and booty shorts, we might have been free 100 years sooner.”
Gigi said on Instagram that “the first step is to stop allowing, and therefore celebrating, people who continue to stand on the necks of others for laughs. We must do better. As a collective society, we must be better. The answer is not cancelation, its education.”
Actress Jameela Jamil was also unimpressed with the special. “I really wish I hadn’t seen Chapelle’s closing show,” the star tweeted. “I hope he stays away for a long time, maybe until this legit OBSESSION with undermining trans people goes away. Such a smart man, so willfully misinformed and committed to showing us what an out of touch bellend he’s becoming.”
Jaclyn Moore, co-showrunner of the recently concluded Netflix series Dear White People, who transitioned during the COVID-19 pandemic, tweeted, “I will not work with [Netflix] as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
“I never loved Dave’s trans material before but this time it felt different. This is the first time I felt like, ‘Oh, people are laughing at this joke and they’re agreeing that it’s absurd to call me a woman,'” Moore recently told Variety. “Look, I have no desire to cancel Dave Chappelle. He should make whatever he wants to make but I will say to Netflix, it’s not like this was a live special.”
The writer added, “People like to say, ‘Oh, it’s just a joke.’ I get the joke. By the way there’s a lot that’s funny about being trans, but the idea that it’s funny that we call ourselves women, which was the subtext of a lot of those jokes, is not one of them. It’s actually the same language used by people who seek to hurt us.”
On Thursday, Oct. 7, Chappelle addressed the criticism of his new jokes on the special while performing onstage at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. According to The Hollywood Reporter, after receiving a standing ovation, the comedian told the audience, “If this is what being canceled is like, I love it.”
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