Comedian Dave Chappelle is facing backlash for his latest Netflix comedy special The Closer. In the performance, the 48-year-old makes controversial commentary on the LGBTQ+ community. The stand-up performance debuted on the streaming platform on Tuesday (Oct. 5) and is the last in a series of specials released by the acclaimed comedian for Netflix.
According to Deadline, Chappelle delivered jokes referencing physical anatomy and declared himself a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) in support of author J.K. Rowling who has also come under fire multiple times for transphobic comments. The comedian also joked about the rapper DaBaby after his homophobic and false statements regarding people with HIV/AIDS at this year’s Rolling Loud Miami festival and subsequent behavior made headlines.
“In our country, you can shoot and kill a ni**a, but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings,” he said. During a 2018 incident, DaBaby was involved in a shooting at Walmart in North Carolina where another man was shot and later died.
The National Black Justice Coalition’s executive director David Johns provided a statement to CNN calling for Netflix to remove The Closer. The NBJC was founded in 2003 and is “a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ and same gender loving (SGL) people.”
“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,” said Johns. “Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”
Johns also shared his reaction via social media.
LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) also spoke out against The Closer offering support for its critics.
“Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” the organization shared 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.”
GLAAD was founded in 1985 by a group of journalists and reporters in response to the New York Post‘s sensationalized HIV and AIDS coverage. According to its website, GLAAD “rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance,” and “tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.”
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
Jaclyn Moore, a writer, executive producer, and showrunner on the Netflix series Dear White People shared she has decided to no longer work with the company. On Twitter, she revealed her disappointment in Netflix’s decision to support Chappelle’s brand of comedy.
“I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix. 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,'” she tweeted. “I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @Netflix, I’m done.”
I love so many of the people I've worked with at Netflix. 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. https://t.co/2naqrzW0G2
— Jaclyn Moore (@JaclynPMoore) October 7, 2021
Neither the comedian nor the streaming platform has made public statements regarding the backlash. A preview of Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special The Closer is available below: