Breaking Down the Controversy Around Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Special The Closer

Recently, the career of Chappelle’s has taken a turn, and here is what unfolded in the last few days. Currently, his special is ranked #3 on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S., And it has received a lot of criticism. However, Netflix’s co-chief executive, Ted Sarandos, came to Chappelle’s defense, vowing to not leave the matter up to how much criticism the company receives. This response resulted in plenty of backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and transgender activists, who have been pressuring Netflix to remove the special from their services.

At a rally this year, Donald Trump employed the identical reasoning. Lebron James contemplated assuming the identity of a woman or, alternatively, awakening one morning and declaring himself to be Chinese, leaving Chappelle curious about the potential consequences. In his most recent trio of stand-up specials for Netflix, he drew parallels between being transgender and Rachel Dolezal’s masquerade as a different ethnicity. Throughout the years, Chappelle has crafted numerous comedic anecdotes centered around transgender topics.

Following his departure from Chappelle’s Show, he discovered the term when he initially faced criticism for incorporating anti-trans jokes into a standup performance 16 years ago. Playfully (and maybe somewhat truthfully), he refers to himself as “transphobic” multiple times and expresses an increased fascination with the subject as he seamlessly intertwines it throughout the 70-minute duration.

He asserts that he has never encountered any difficulties with transgender individuals. If you carefully listen to my statements, it is evident that my concerns have consistently revolved around individuals of Caucasian descent,” he stated. Chappelle argues that those who express the most anger towards him are the ones who solely focus on his soundbites rather than his entire comedy sets. He clarifies that his jokes are not aimed at the gay or transgender community, but rather at white individuals. Furthermore, he implies that these jokes serve as a form of retaliation against the oppression that queer white individuals still impose on Black people. At another instance, he elaborates on this point by stating, “Gay individuals are considered minorities until they choose to align themselves with the privileges associated with being white once again.”

However, it should be noted that “gender is an undeniable reality,” declaring his affiliation with the “Team TERF” movement and associating himself with J.K. Rowling. He draws a parallel between the reproductive organs of transgender women and plant-based meat, as well as equating transgender women to individuals of Caucasian descent wearing blackface, expressing unease when inadvertently complimenting a transgender woman. Nevertheless, Chappelle consistently incorporates numerous jokes targeting the transgender community.

The next month, she died by suicide. During that time, Dorman posted complimentary things about Chappelle and their burgeoning friendship. “I responded,” says Chappelle, “because I believe that one takes it as a sign of belief in me.” Chappelle tells Dorman that he still doesn’t understand the need for him to understand me in order to believe that I’m having a human experience. Chappelle says that Dorman told him this when he says, “I opened for Dorman at a comedy club one night, and engaged in a frank discussion about trans identity onstage.” Chappelle then ends the story by telling about befriending a trans comic in San Francisco.

At the end of Chappelle’s set, I pledged to stop performing material about the LGBTQ community. I’m talking about it because I ask all of your community for humility. Please stop punching down on my people.

Numerous advocates for transgender rights have condemned Chappelle

On the streaming service, content that promotes discrimination against LGBTQ individuals fulfills this purpose, but it is common knowledge that Netflix prohibits content that is intended to provoke hatred or violence. GLAAD expressed in a statement that they urged Netflix to remove the special, and following its release on the platform, numerous criticisms and requests for action were shared on social media in the following days.

“Perpetuating discrimination against transgender individuals perpetuates acts of aggression.” Netflix should have a better understanding of this issue, especially considering that a significant portion of the affected population comprises Black transgender individuals. With 2021 being on track to become the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States, David Johns, the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, urged Netflix to remove the special and expressed this in a letter to Deadline. Chappelle made inaccurate statements regarding the extent of J.K. Rowling’s discriminatory views towards transgender individuals and further perpetuated the erasure of Black transgender individuals by framing the debate as a conflict between Black rights and transgender rights. Trans activists highlighted Chappelle’s erasure of Black transgender individuals.

“Good Negroes” were regarded as respectable Black individuals, and they were held up by white people in a manner similar to how Jackie Robinson was held up. Dorman essentially accused Chappelle of not caring about the actual well-being of these people, using a rhetorical shield as a means to write for her own benefit. This accusation was made by Dahlia Belle, a comic, in The Guardian.

“The only thing you have done to make me angry is writing a letter, which is a tragedy. As your closing tag, you used Daphne’s name. In our everyday lives, we face numerous instances of violence, dehumanization, mockery, and marginalization. Dave said, ‘Twitter isn’t real,’ implying that it should not affect us. I have rarely heard people on Twitter discussing the experiences of transgender individuals or the reasons behind their suicides. However, I know that every transgender person who has lost their life to suicide has fueled our despair.” Belle wrote this.

On the contrary, Dave “adored my sister and is a supporter of the LGBTQ community,” as mentioned by her sister Brandy in an interview with the Daily Beast. Furthermore, Dorman’s relatives stood up for Chappelle.

On Facebook, Brandy Dorman expressed, ‘”May you grant me that? Are you able to perceive me? Do you perceive me? I am grieving for my friend in the most suitable manner I am aware of,”‘ he’s conveying to the LGBTQ community. “This was an appeal for two marginalized groups of our country to set aside their online arguments and reconcile. It is disheartening that this message was misunderstood.”

The exclusive has sparked a controversy at Netflix.

Last week, Jaclyn Moore, an executive producer for the Netflix series “Dear White People,” stated that she would boycott working with the company as long as they continue to profit from and promote dangerously and blatantly transphobic content. Many others, including Chappelle, went after Netflix for giving him a platform, and as a result, many people have focused their ire on the company.

As reported by the New York Times, she and two other colleagues were later suspended after participating in a virtual meeting for senior executives to which they were not invited. Terra Field, an engineer at Netflix who identifies as transgender, expressed on Twitter that Chappelle’s comedy special “criticizes the transgender community and questions the authenticity of being transgender.”

Employees are openly encouraged to disagree and show their support for the company by tweeting, and we want to make it clear that it is absolutely untrue to say that any employees have been suspended for voicing their opinions. This idea was refuted by a spokesperson from Netflix, who stated that Field had not been suspended for expressing her opinions.

Some people find stand-up comedy to be an important part of our content, and they enjoy it. However, there are individuals who can be mean-spirited. It can be challenging to distinguish between comedy that pushes boundaries and commentary that causes harm. The situation was addressed when Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-chief executive chief, sent a memo to employees, arguing that “The Closer” did not cross the line into inciting violence or hate. He vowed to leave any loud criticism on the site up to special matter.

The walkout organized by trans employees and their allies at Netflix, originally scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20, took place the day after. As reported by The Verge, a leader of the company’s trans employee resource group communicated to its members that Netflix has consistently failed to demonstrate genuine concern for their mission of Entertaining the World. This failure is evident in the repeated release of content that negatively affects the Trans community, as well as the ongoing absence of content that accurately represents and uplifts Trans individuals. In an email sent on Monday, Sarandos reaffirmed this stance by stating that the depiction of content on screen does not directly result in harm in the real world. Sarandos emphasized the importance of increasing diversity within the content team as a crucial element in addressing these concerns.

Screw you and your unethical algorithm following. “You didn’t compensate me adequately for handling the actual repercussions of promoting hate speech that you intentionally ignore, Ted,” she expressed on Instagram. Gadsby, the Australian comedian who gained global recognition due to her 2018 Netflix special Nanette, also reacted to Sarandos with anger. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t involve me in your chaotic situation,”.

On Friday, Netflix announced it had fired a staff member for leaking “commercially sensitive information” with a news organization about the special.