Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer debuted on Netflix and it has ignited a backlash against the comedian based on a series of jokes that are presented during his standup routine.
The bulk of the criticism that Chappelle has received has to deal with his jokes about the transgender community. Chappelle, at one point, defends Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and notes that he’s “Team TERF”, a reference to the accusation from Rowling’s critics that she’s a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Chappelle adds that this is just a way of “making up words to win arguments.”
The comedian’s other comments that have been deemed to be offensive came about when he referenced “cancel culture” and specifically pointed to controversial remarks made by the rapper DaBaby. Chappelle brought up an incident from DaBaby’s past in which he was involved in a shooting in a North Carolina Walmart that left another man dead. DaBaby said that he acted in self-defense and he wasn’t criminally charged but the comedian pondered why people seemed to care more about things DaBaby has said against the LGBT+ community over the fact that he actually killed someone. Here is what Chappelle said during his routine:
“A lot of the LGBTQ community doesn’t know DaBaby’s history. He’s a wild guy, He once shot a [expletive deleted] and killed him. Walmart. Oh, this is true. Google it. Nothing bad happened to his career. Do you see where I’m going with this? In our country, you can shoot and kill a [expletive deleted], but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings!”
The backlash against Chappelle was pretty swift after The Closer debuted. Some of the comments against the comedian came within Netflix itself as Dear White People executive producer and showrunner Jaclyn Moore announced that she’s parting ways with the streamer as a result of the comments made by Chappelle in his special, which was subsequently released and promoted by Netflix. Moore took to her Twitter page to say “I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.” You can check out her tweet below.
The organization GLAAD added that “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.” You can also check out that tweet below.
Dave Chappelle addressed the controversy head-on during a sold-out screening of his documentary at The Hollywood Bowl. The 48-year-old performer took the stage in Los Angeles on Thursday night and he spoke to a sold-out crowd by saying, “If this is what being cancelled is about, I love it.” He then added, “I don’t know what to tell you, except I’m a bad motherf—er.”
What are YOUR thoughts on the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s latest special?