Dave Chappelle ends his latest Netflix comedy special, “The Closer,” by proclaiming he is finished with transgender and LGBTQ jokes “until we are both sure that we are laughing together,” adding, “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?” For organizations such as GLAAD and The National Black Justice Coalition, that declaration is too little, too late. Chappelle already had a history filling his Netflix specials with offensive transgender jokes, and that trend continues in “The Closer.” At one point, the comedian declares himself “team TERF” (meaning a trans-exclusionary radical feminist) while saying J.K. Rowling doesn’t deserve to be “canceled” for her anti-trans beliefs.
“Gender is a fact,” Chappelle said. “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. Now, I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women, I am just saying that those pussies that they got… you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s not pussy, but it’s Beyond Pussy or Impossible Pussy. It tastes like pussy, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood. That’s beet juice.”
“The Closer” prompted the following response from GLAAD on social media: “Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. 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’s executive director David Johns called on Netflix to remove “The Closer” from the streaming platform in a statement (via Deadline), saying, “It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on 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. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence.”
“Netflix should immediately pull ‘The Closer’ from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community,” Johns’ statement continued. “Make no mistake: Black LGBTQ+ and same gender people exist — and have always existed. The fight against oppression is not a zero sum game, and the pervasiveness of white supremacy in the United States is not an excuse for homophobia or transphobia.”
Even Netflix talent is speaking out against Chappelle. Jaclyn Moore, an executive producer on “Dear White People” who is now an EP on Peacock’s “Queer as Folk” revival, took to social media to say she is done working with the streaming giant. “I told the story of my transition for Netflix’s Pride week. It’s a network that’s been my home on ‘Dear White People.’ I’ve loved working there. I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
“I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix,” Moore continued. “Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art… But I’ve been thrown against walls because, ‘I’m not a “real” woman.’ I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So, Netflix, I’m done.”
Read Moore’s full comments in her social media posts below. “The Closer” is now streaming on Netflix.
Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. 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. https://t.co/yOIyT54819
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 6, 2021
Chappelle was one of my heroes. I was at his comeback show in NYC. But he said he’s a TERF. He compared my existence to someone doing blackface. He talks about someone winning a Woman of the Year award despite never having a period should make women mad and that it makes him mad.
— Jaclyn Moore (@JaclynPMoore) October 7, 2021