Social justice groups are up in arms Thursday over what they have labeled “anti-transgender” bigotry from comedian Dave Chappelle, who recently released a new Netflix special called “The Closer.”
In part of his standup routine, he discusses cancel culture, and how author J.K. Rowling was “cancelled” for an essay she wrote defending the idea of biological sex. For that, she was labeled a “Trans-exclusionary Radical Feminist” (TERF).
“The trans community got mad as sh*t,” Chappelle says in his comedy special. “They started calling her a TERF. I didn’t even know what the f*ck that was, but I know that trans people make up words to win arguments, so I looked it up.”
Chappelle then said he agreed with Rowling, and called himself “Team TERF.”
But the routine has caused major backlash for the veteran comedian, prompting some groups to call on Netflix to remove the comedy special from the platform completely.
“Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” GLAAD, a pro-LGBT group, said on Twitter. “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.”
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
The National Black Justice Coalition explicitly called for the show to be removed.
“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,” that organization’s executive director David Johns reportedly said. “Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”
Chappelle has not publicly commented on the backlash.
The Tennessee Star reached out to Netflix and asked whether the company was considering removing the comedy show.
Netflix did not respond to The Star’s comment request.
Watch the clip below: (Warning: Graphic Language)
“They cancelled @jk_rowling, they started calling her a TERF. I didn't even know what that was, but I know that trans people make up words to win arguments… I'm team TERF.”
— Women's Voices (@WomenReadWomen) October 7, 2021
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