Dave Chappelle embraces being cancelled over transphobic statements in new Netflix special

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Dave Chappelle: The Closer.
Dave Chappelle: The Closer.
Photo: Mathieu Bitton/Netflix
  • Warning: This article contains strong language.
  • Dave Chappelle is receiving backlash for his latest Netflix special, The Closer.
  • In the show the comedian makes offensive remarks about the LGBTQ+ community.
  • LGBTQ groups, including the National Black Justice Coalition, have called on Netflix to remove the program.


US comedian Dave Chappelle has thumbed his nose at critics who accuse him of transphobia, telling a packed Los Angeles performance: "If this is what being cancelled is like, I love it."

The stand-up has courted controversy with his latest Netflix special The Closer in which he asserts "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," he said in the show, which is riding high on Netflix's chart after its launch this week.

Chappelle also declared himself "Team TERF" - an acronym for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, who believe that womanhood is biologically fixed - and defended "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling, who has been vilified for making that case.

At a sold-out Hollywood Bowl on Thursday, Chappelle received a standing ovation, and lashed out at mainstream organisations.

"Fuck Twitter. Fuck NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to you. This is real life," he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

During his more-than hour-long special, Chappelle is at pains to stress that he does not hate transgender people, and tells a long anecdote about a trans woman comic, who he describes as a friend, who came to his defense in earlier entanglements with the group.

But LGBTQ groups, including the National Black Justice Coalition, have called on Netflix to remove the program.

This week Jaclyn Moore, producer of Dear White People and herself transgender, said on Twitter that she would no longer work with the video-on-demand platform "as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content".

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