17. October 2021

No joke: Has Dave Chappelle finally been #cancelled?


Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix particular, The Closer, has been criticised as transphobic, resulting in requires his cancellation which is exactly what the comic would need.

Dave Chappelle on stage performing his Netflix special, ‘The Closer.’

Dave Chappelle on stage performing his Netflix particular, ‘The Closer.’Credit:Mathieu Bitton / Netflix

I’m sitting down.


Now remind me, what sort of comedy Chappelle is legendary for?


But I simply instructed you I used to be sitting down!


See, I could make jokes too.

Can you make them in addition to Chappelle?

I suppose that is determined by who you ask.

Yes, I suppose it does.

Right, let’s start. Comedian offends folks, will get cancelled. Is this some sort of 2021 headline generator?

It’s a bit of extra advanced than that. Chappelle has made a profession off the again of searing social commentary packaged as stand-up comedy – and he’s additionally made some huge cash. In 2016, Netflix paid him $US60 million ($81 million) for 3 specials: The Age of Spin, Deep within the Heart of Texas and Equanimity.

Chappelle has come under fire for controversial jokes about the trans community.

Chappelle has come underneath hearth for controversial jokes concerning the trans group.Credit:Mathieu Bitton / Netflix

Laughing all the best way to the financial institution, am I proper?

Please cease.

Go on.

Each of these specials was peppered with Chappelle doing what he does finest: riffing on race, making folks uncomfortable and exposing unconscious bias.

So far, so good.

But in between his masterstrokes, Chappelle appeared significantly within the trans group, utilizing pejorative phrases in his units and joking about trans athletes. In the Sticks & Stones particular, Chappelle included a complete bit on LeBron James altering his gender to affix the Women’s National Basketball Association “where he will score 840 points a game”.

Playing satan’s advocate for a second – if Chappelle has a monitor file of some of these jokes, why are folks indignant now?

Well, Chappelle’s newest (and last) particular for Netflix, The Closer, sees him return to trans-related topics, dedicating a lot of the set to exploring anger amongst members of the group, and in his opinion, their “unjustified” criticism.

Hit me with among the lowlights?

He declares himself “Team TERF”, referencing the time period for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”, earlier than stepping into to bat for J.Okay. Rowling, who has additionally been criticised for her views on gender identity. “They cancelled J.K. Rowling – my God,” jokes Chappelle in The Closer.

I by no means thought I’d hear J.Okay. Rowling and Dave Chappelle talked about in the identical sentence.

Do you wish to make a Potter gag?

Is there one thing in Harry Potter and the Half-Baked Jokes?

I don’t assume so.


Chappelle has made a degree of misgendering trans ladies, joking about their altered genitalia or poking enjoyable at North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill”, a 2016 regulation that criminalised the act of a transgender particular person getting into a restroom for the gender they recognized with.

The particular ends with Chappelle discussing Daphne Dorman, a late trans comedian who Chappelle befriended. Dorman handed away in 2019, and Chappelle arrange a belief fund for Dorman’s daughter. During the ultimate joke of The Closer, Chappelle riffs on what he may say to Dorman’s daughter when she turns 21 and might entry the belief. “Young lady, I knew your father, and he was a wonderful woman.”

Really going out with a bang. What has been the response?

You can think about, the web loves nothing greater than pitting the Wokers towards the Jokers. At the ends of the arguments are those that defend a comic’s proper to offend everybody and anybody, and those that are, allegedly, simply offended.

Has Netflix made any touch upon the backlash?

Indeed. Following a wave of rebukes, Netflix co-chief government Ted Sarandos despatched out an internal memo addressing workers members concerning the choice to not withdraw the content material from the Netflix library.

“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow Netflix titles that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line,” learn the Sarandos assertion.

Don’t cross the road, however do sit on the fence.

Exactly. Things took an attention-grabbing flip when three Netflix staff, together with transgender software program engineer Terra Field, crashed the corporate’s quarterly enterprise evaluation this week to protest the choice. Following that, the workers members have been suspended.

I hate to make use of this phrase, however the #optics of which are…

So unhealthy.

Has anybody else spoken out towards Chappelle?

Yep. GLAAD, an organisation based to push again towards defamatory protection of the LGBTQI+ group, has known as out Netflix for his or her double requirements.

Chappelle talks for a dwelling; he should’ve had one thing to say?

Naturally. Chappelle performed a sold-out gig final Thursday evening at LA’s iconic Hollywood Bowl, and he opened with this line: “If this is what being cancelled is like, I love it.”

The declaration was met with a standing ovation by the group, which included Brad Pitt.

Zomg. Do we’ve to cancel Brad Pitt too?


So, what now?

Well, chances are high this cancellation will probably be cancelled. Chappelle stays one of many all-time stand-up comedy greats, and his die-hard followers will proceed to assist him regardless of how “edgy” his materials turns into.

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Mike Phillips

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