Looks like the LGBTQ+ community wasn’t laughing at Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special!
In news that would shock no one, the 48-year-old comedian sparked backlash with his new Netflix special The Closer due to some questionable jokes he made directed at the LGBTQ+ community — the trans community in particular.
In a passage that caused an especially strong reaction on Twitter, he says he “never had a problem with transgender people” and yet goes on to rant about how J.K. Rowling was right:
“They canceled J.K. Rowling — my God. I’m Team TERF! I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact.”
But it was what he said next that hurt the most:
“Now, I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women, I am just saying that those p***ies that they got… you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s not p***y, but it’s Beyond P***y or Impossible P***y. It tastes like p***y, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood. That’s beet juice.”
Predictably, many felt that comparing a trans woman’s private parts to artificial meat was a lazy and offensive joke. Actress and director Taylor Ashbrook, a longtime Chappelle fan, tweeted:
“As a trans woman, I have usually defended Dave Chappelle’s specials because I think they’re hilarious and his jokes about trans women never felt intentionally malicious. The Closer changed my mind on that. That special felt so lazy and disingenuous and I’m really disappointed.”
Writer Kathryn VanArendonk wrote in a series of tweets:
“the first thing I did today was watch the new chappelle special and I have not been able to shake my annoyance ever since… everything else aside – and it’s hard to set aside – I just have to believe by this point that even the most devoted chappelle audience would love to hear material on something other than his obsession with trans bodies.”
Later, Dave seemed to agree with T.I.‘s take that the gay community are bullies.
Referencing Black celebs like DaBaby, who have gotten heat for anti-gay remarks, he pointed out how DaBaby had actually killed someone but only got canceled when he said something homophobic on stage:
“Do you see where I’m going with this? In our country, you can shoot and kill a n****r, but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings!”
Eventually he seemed to try to draw up some kind of treaty, telling the crowd he’ll personally no longer perform LGBTQ jokes “until we are both sure that we are laughing together.” Speaking directly to the LGBTQ+ community, he continued:
“I’m telling you, it’s done. I’m done talking about it. All I ask of your community, with all humility: Will you please stop punching down on my people?”
This line drew the ire of many online, specifically Black trans people who felt overlooked by Chappelle’s statement.
Twitter users wrote:
“This is ignoring how Hart, DaBaby, and Chappelle himself punched down first, but more pertinent is that again there is that divide. The thought of a gay or trans black person is foreign to him. We don’t exist. We are outside of his experience and therefore, a white experience.”
“Dave chappelle spent more time and jokes on gay and Trans people than he did white people, the supposed people all his jokes are directed at. This dude has reach trump level gaslighting in ‘the closer.’ “
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