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Dave Chappelle's jokes are 'so hurtful and damaging to the trans community,' says woke comic Wanda Sykes

Photos by Jerritt Clark/Gett Images for unKommon events/Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Imagine LA

Comedian Wanda Sykes said in an interview with Variety that Dave Chappelle's jokes about transgender people were "hurtful and damaging," while also remarking that laws prohibiting transgender individuals from entering bathrooms of their choosing are "hateful."

Sykes, a comedian who embraced the moniker of "woke comic" and said all Republican presidential candidates are "awful," was asked if she feels her Netflix special "balances out" Chappelle's jokes about transgender people.

"I don’t know about balancing it out, because I think what he said was so hurtful and damaging to the trans community. So yeah, the scale is still tipped, I will say, in their favor," Sykes replied. "But I know I wanted to say something, because so much has been said on that platform," she added. As well, while she and Chappelle are friendly, Sykes said would confront him on the issue if they were to meet again.

Sykes also commented on "laws banning trans women from women’s bathrooms" and stated to readers that she is not in fact transgender. "I’m not trans, but they have my support, 100%," she explained. "I wanted to find something where I can shine some light on what they’re going through, to show how just stupid and hateful really it is," the 59-year-old added.

In a clip posted to Twitter, Sykes appeared to defend criticisms of drag queens in her latest special.

"I mean, until a drag queen walks into a school and beats eight kids to death with a copy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' I think you're focusing on the wrong shit."

The Virginia-born comic stated the country has been taking "steps back" in regard to "women's rights" and "LGBTQ rights" and attributed the regression to "Trump supporters and all that."

"The steps back in both the news and comedy, that’s what makes the most noise, instead of the progress we’re making. I think they’re just louder, all the Trump supporters and all that. But I like to focus on the wins. I mean, there are not a lot of them, but I like to like to celebrate them," Sykes said, but the interview did not include any specific instances that she was referring to.

Sykes also commented on racial discussions she's had with her wife, Alex, who is white and French. The comedian said that it was "very frustrating" to talk about race with her wife, because she didn't know "a lot of the history behind it in this country." However, she noted that her wife came to a realization and told Sykes that she "didn't even realize" what she was doing in regard to her racial privilege.

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