Efforts to cancel comedian Dave Chapelle for alleged anti-trans jokes and supporting other artists never gained the expected result.
“Gender is a fact,” Chapelle stated in his 2021 Netflix special “The Closer”. “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.”
Statements like that and some jokes he made during the special offended members of the LGBTQ community and they subsequently sought to cancel him.
Chapelle refused to buckle down and was bolstered by support from a packed crowd of celebrities days afterward for his sold out show at the Hollywood Bowl. “If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” the 48-year-old said in response to a standing ovation from the crowd that evening.
He further angered trans activists after he sided with “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling by identifying as “team TERF,” an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. TERF is considered an ideology that excludes trans women as women.
The National Black Justice Coalition condemned him for remarks and jokes in the show in a post to its Twitter account.
“It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform,” said David J. Johns. He added a follow-up comment that said Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.
Other groups advocating for Lesbians, Gay, Bisexuals and Transsexuals added their voices of opposition and cries for Netflix to yank the special from its platform.
Netflix refused to pull the popular comedian’s special, which angered some Netflix employees. Chapelle posted a video about it to Instagram.
“I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said,” Chapelle said.”My God, how could I not? You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore,” he said in his five-minute video.
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has stood up for Chapelle’s artistic freedom and stood steadfast against activists and employees.
“I wanted to follow-up on the “The Closer” — Dave Chappelle’s latest special — as several of you have reached out following QBR asking what to say to your teams,” Sarandos wrote to employees last year. “It never feels good when people are hurting, especially our colleagues, so I wanted to give you some additional context.”
“You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”
In a recent show of continued support for the embattled comedian, Netflix announced Friday it plans to air four new comedy specials with Dave Chappelle that feature Chappelle as executive producer and host.
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