Cancel culture returns yet again, and this time it’s focused on Dave Chappelle.
The standup comedian known for his outspoken, in-your-face jokes has pushed the envelope in his latest Netflix comedy special “The Closer” for cracking transphobic jokes, angering many advocacy organizations and culture critics.
Chappelle, 48, wasted no time stoking the flames of controversy with incendiary jokes about transgender women. He is also being accused of defending what many perceived to be insensitive and vulgar comments by rapper DaBaby and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling (who has faced allegations of transphobia), as well as deflecting criticism he faced for cracking jokes about the trans community in previous specials “Equanimity” and “Sticks & Stones.”
During his special, he said “They canceled J.K. Rowling — my God. Effectually she said gender was a fact. The trans community got mad as sh**, they started calling her a TERF,” Chappelle said, which means “trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” whose views about feminism are seen as anti-trans. He added, “I’m team TERF… Gender is a fact.”
At another point in the show, he also said, “In our country, you can shoot and kill a [N-word] — but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings.” Chappelle is referencing a 2018 shooting incident involving the rapper at a Walmart in North Carolina. The 19-year-old victim later died.
Advocacy organization GLAAD issued a statement saying, “Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” and calling for people not to stream the special.
The National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group dedicated to the empowerment of the Black LGBTQ community, called it “deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform.”
Netflix hasn’t commented, nor has Chappelle on this issue.