It was inevitable that Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special would ruffle feathers, and the backlash has been heavy. Chappelle is known for challenging the masses and speaking on things that most people avoid, and as his fans applaud The Closer, critics have not been as welcoming. Chappelle has been steadily releasing a series of specials on Netflix and The Closer marked the finale, but his takes, albeit comedic, have been called out.
Netflix hasn’t spoken about the controversy and reportedly declined to do so when Variety reached out, but Chappelle has taken hits over his jokes about trans women, being a TERF (defined as “a feminist who excludes the rights of transgender women from their advocacy of women’s rights), his defense of DaBaby’s homophobic remarks, and more.
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According to Variety, GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has come down on both Chappelle and Netflix over the comments.
“Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” the 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 National Black Justice Coalition also agreed and called for Netflix to remove the comedy special from its platform.
“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,” NBJC executive director David Johns reportedly said. “Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence. Netflix should immediately pull ‘The Closer’ from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”
Additionally, Dear White People writer, showrunner, and executive producer Jaclyn Moore has stated that she will no longer work with Netflix “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
Read through a few reactions below.