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Transgender comedian defends Dave Chappelle over controversial Netflix special: 'No topic is off-limits'

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Transgender comedian Flame Monroe (Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)

Comedian Flame Monroe says that Dave Chappelle didn't go too far when he made fun of transgender people in his latest Netflix special, "The Closer," adding that "no topic is off-limits" for comedians.

What's a brief history on this?

Chappelle received heavy criticism for the highly controversial special in which he made jokes about transgenderism.

Many viewers have called for Netflix to dump Chappelle and remove his specials, but Netflix co-CEO and chief creative officer Ted Sarandos has insisted that the sanctity of comedic expression must be preserved at all costs.

"Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him," he said in a memo about the special. "His last special 'Sticks & Stones,' also controversial, is our most-watched, stickiest and most award-winning stand-up special to date. As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful."

What are the details?

Monroe appeared on Saturday's "CNN Newsroom" where she spoke up in defense of Chappelle.

During the appearance, host Pamela Brown asked whether Monroe laughed or cringed when she heard Chappelle's jokes about transgender people.

“It made me scream out loud laughing because I saw the humor in it. I'm a comedian, I'm a human, and I know who Dave Chappelle is and what Dave Chappelle is. He's a comedian, so I thought it was funny," Monroe insisted. “And some of the things he said, Pam, hear me when I, as a trans person, I did, like 'Ooh,' but when it's the truth and it's funny, it's just humor. It's just laughter. We keep missing that."

She added, "We have to be able to [act] like grown people and stop being so sensitized in this world and be able to take a joke. It's only a joke. Nobody lost their life."

Brown then asked Monroe if she was aware that many of the jokes fell flat and offended some people.

“I absolutely do not see that side," Monroe responded. "I absolutely think that people should allow people to do what they do. Dave Chappelle is a comedian, so we're going to attack Dave Chappelle for talking about gender and transgender, let's talk about how he destroyed the white community. Let's talk about how he bashed the Jewish community on that show. Let's talk about all comedians starting with Margaret Cho, who is Asian, who tears up Asians; Jo Koy, who is Filipino, who destroys Filipinos. Whatever nationality you are, Sarah Silverstein who destroys the Jews, Chelsea Handler destroys the Jewish community, but as a joke because if you pick apart who you are first, it's so much easier for the audience to come with you."

“I didn't take any of that to be offensive enough to take down from Netflix," she insisted. "I applaud Netflix for sticking to their guns. I appreciate them for seeing that the world is not just what you want it to be, but the world is what it is. You have to play along, get along to go along. Everybody just don't want to do that, somebody are already combative and argumentative. I'm not. I'm a happy person."

What else is there to know?

In closing out his latest Netflix special, Chappelle told a story about a friend — a transgender comedian who also previously defended him from making jokes that critics branded transphobic.

He said comedian Daphne Dorman received so much hate in the weeks after she stood up for Chappelle's right to make such jokes that she killed herself.

“I don't know what the trans community did for her," Chappelle said, “but I don't care, because I feel like she wasn't their tribe. She was mine. She was a comedian in her soul."

(H/T: The Daily Wire)

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