Dave Chappelle has been embroiled in controversy this week because of comments deemed to be "transphobic" in his latest comedy special. The legendary stand-up comedian mocked cancel culture, fired back at the critics who attacked him, and blasted the mainstream media that wrote hit pieces on him.
Chappelle performed a stand-up comedy show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, where several celebrities were in attendance, including Brad Pitt, Stevie Wonder, Jon Hamm, Snoop Dogg, and Lizzo. Chappelle received a standing ovation from the crowd of 18,000, and he jokingly responded, "If this is what being canceled is about, I love it."
Chappelle – who was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2019 – hammed the mainstream media, "F*** Twitter, F*** NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks. I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to you, this is real life."
NBC News was lambasted for a hit piece on Chappelle's new Netflix stand-up special "The Closer." "NBC News reported that Chappelle 'drew a swift backlash,' but then cited only three Twitter users; one who identified as a 'trans woman' activist with roughly 1,000 Twitter followers, another with only 200 followers and a third was another activist with roughly 43,000 followers," according to Fox News.
Chappelle was attacked by critics for saying that gender is real, admitting that he is a "TERF" (the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and accusations of "ridiculing trans people" during his latest stand-up special.
GLAAD rebuked Chappelle's comments about LGBTQ individuals.
"Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities," the LGBTQ organization said in a statement. "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."
"The Closer" has a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The National Black Justice Coalition's executive director David Johns demanded that Netflix yank the highly-rated comedy special, "Netflix should immediately pull 'The Closer' from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community."
Trans Netflix producer Jaclyn Moore slammed the streaming network for allowing the comedy special to air.
"I want to be clear that Dave Chappelle should be free to say whatever he wants and I should be free to say whatever I would like about him," said Moore, the executive producer and showrunner of the Netflix series "Dear White People." "Not to let Chappelle off the hook, but my bigger issue is with Netflix. This isn't a live special. It was filmed, finished and people watched it and nobody said, 'Hey, are we sure this is good? Are we sure this is OK? Are we sure this isn't dangerous? What are the consequences of putting this out?'"
Moore also said she would stop working with Netflix "as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content."
"The Closer" is currently the third most popular show or movie on Netflix.