LGBT advocacy groups blast Dave Chappelle over 'transphobic' jokes

LGBT advocacy groups blast Dave Chappelle over ‘transphobic’ gags on new Netflix special and call for streamer to PULL the show

  • Dave Chappelle in his sixth Netflix special pokes fun at transgendered women
  • The 48-year-old comedian in one joke said their anatomy lacked real female reproductive organs and that they did not have blood but ‘beet juice’ 
  • Angry LGBTQ advocates are calling on the streaming service to pull the show 
  • But a trans comedian’s family leapt to Chappelle’s defence, saying they were appalled at suggestions the comedian’s jokes were not offensive or transphobic

Dave Chappelle is getting an online lashing from the LGBTQ community for making transphobic remarks in his latest Netflix special – with some advocacy groups calling on the streaming service to axe his show.

David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, asked Netflix to apologize to the transgender community and pull The Closer from its streaming service.

‘We do not condone violence against any members of our community and our feelings and existence as trans, queer, and non-binary/non-conforming people matter too,’ Johns said in a statement.

‘What’s being missed at this moment is the extreme rate at which Black trans women are murdered, annually. All of this to say, we should think and engage more critically so we can all get free.’

During his sixth Netflix special, Chappelle said women view transwomen the way black people view white women wearing blackface.

Comedian Dave Chappelle is under fire for making transphobic jokes in his new Netflix special

His transgender jokes angered LGBQT advocates such as GLAAD, which blasted him on Twitter

He said women are entitled to feel anger toward transwomen, since Caitlyn Jenner won Glamour magazine’s 2015 Woman of the Year award.

‘I’d be mad as sh*t if I was a woman,’ Chappelle said.

He also joked about the anatomy of transwomen, joking that they lacked real female reproductive organs and that they did not have blood but ‘beet juice.’

National Black Justice Coalition executive director David Johns wants the show cancelled 

His jokes also didn’t sit well with America’s leading LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, which issued a scathing statement about his standup routine.

‘Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,’ GLAAD tweeted.

‘Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don’t support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes.’

Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn Moore, who is transgender, said she’ll boycott Netflix for continuing 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 tweeted.

‘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.’

Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn Moore said she’ll boycott Netflix for airing the special

NPR TV critic Eric Deggan said Chappelle also ventured into antisemitism during his routine by kiddingly pitching a movie called ‘Space Jews,’ about a diaspora of former Earthlings who return to the planet to take it over.

‘I don’t really care what point he’s trying to make,’ Deggan wrote. ‘A joke that sounds like antisemitism gets a hard pass from me.’

But not everyone’s a critic.

The sisters of Daphne Dorman – a transgender friend of Chappelle’s who died by suicide in 2019 – said they were appalled at suggestions the comedian was transphobic.

The family of transgender woman Daphne Dorman, who died by suicide, defended Chappelle

Dorman (pictured at right with an unknown woman) was a comedian and friend of Chapelle

‘Daphne was in awe of Dave’s graciousness,’ her sister Becky told The Daily Beast. ‘She did not find his jokes rude, crude, off-coloring, off-putting, anything.

‘Daphne understood humor and comedy – she was not offended. Why would her family be offended?’

Her younger sister Brandy told The Daily Beast that Chappelle is an ally to the LGBTQ community.

She said: ‘His entire set was begging to end this very situation.’ Chappelle’s family said she also appreciated that humor was about the ability to offend everyone equally – and to be able to laugh at being mocked. 

Chappelle was spotted emerging from Hollywood’s Peppermint Club on Wednesday evening in the wake of controversy surrounding the trans community. 

The comedian, 48, kept a low-profile as he left the Hollywood club while puffing a cigarette shortly after he enthusiastically backed JK Rowling in her spat with the transgender community, saying he is ‘Team TERF’. 

TERF stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. The term is used to apply to cisgender women – women born the sex they continue to identify with – who do not think transgender women should have equal access to female spaces.  

Looking solemn, the funnyman was flanked by his aides and maintained a steely expression as the scandal rages on about his latest thoughts.

Heading home: Dave Chappelle was spotted emerging from Hollywood’s Peppermint Club on Wednesday evening in the wake of controversy surrounding the trans community

Rowling, 56, received a slew of hate messages and death threats for her comments on sex and gender, with #RIPJKRowling trending on social media last year. 

She was labeled a TERF, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, and Chappelle said he embraced the label: ‘I’m Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact’.  

Support: Dave, left, defended JK Rowling during his latest Netflix special, The Closer, saying that ‘Gender is a fact,’ in support of Rowling’s previous remarks against transwomen

Heading out: Looking solemn, the funnyman was flanked by his aides and maintained a steely expression as the scandal rages on about his latest thoughts

Critics: He riled fans with his comments

Chappelle earlier faced backlash for his jokes, with trans actress Taylor Ashbrook tweeting, ‘As a trans woman, I have usually defended Dave Chappelle’s specials because I think they’re hilarious and his jokes about trans women never felt intentionally malicious.

‘The Closer changed my mind on that. That special felt so lazy and disingenuous and I’m really disappointed.’ 

Unveiled: The Closer premiered on Netflix on October 5, where the comedian returned to the stage and made a slew of controversial jokes

Vulture Writer Kathryn VanArendonk also tweeted, ‘I just have to believe by this point that even the most devoted chappelle audience would love to hear material on something other than his obsession with trans bodies.’ 

Another Twitter user, with the handle Thisguyhere, even accused Chappelle of being Trump-like in the new special. 

‘Dave chappelle spent more time and jokes on gay and Trans people than he did white people, the supposed people all his jokes are directed at. This dude has reach trump level gaslighting in The Closer.’ 

Rowling was not the only victim of cancel culture that Chappelle mentioned, as he brought up the case of East Coast rapper DaBaby, Jonathan Lyndale Kirk.

Chappelle criticized the public’s push to cancel Kirk after he made transphobic comments at a recent Miami music festival about people with HIV and AIDS, rather than choosing to cancel him for his alleged involvement in a 2018 shooting that left a 19-year-old dead.  

‘DaBaby shot and killed a [man] in Walmart in North Carolina. Nothing bad happened to his career,’ Chappelle said. ‘Do you see where I’m going with this? In our country, you can shoot and kill a [man], but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings.’ 

Charges against Kirk were dropped in 2019 after a key witnessed failed to show up to testify in court, Fox News reported. Kirk claimed he had been defending himself from being robbed by 19-year-old Jaylin Craig. 

This is not the first time Chappelle has targeted drama in the trans community during his standup. 

In 2019, Chappelle received backlash for the alleged transphobic remarks he made during his Sticks & Stones special. 

During the latest standup special, which is set to be his last before he goes on break, Chappelle had said he would not be doing anymore LGBTQ jokes as long as the community stops trying to cancel black men for making derogatory remarks.   

‘Until we are both sure that we are laughing together. 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.’

The Closer will be Chappelle’s last standup special on Netflix before he goes on break

Chappelle is not the first to defend Rowling, as last year, a collection of over 50 actors, writers, playwrights, journalists joined together to pen a letter in response to ‘hate speech’ directed against Rowling.

Signatories of the letter include Booker winner Ian McEwan, actor Griff Rhys Jones, actress Frances Barber and playwright Sir Tom Stoppard.

It was was triggered in response to the hashtag #RIPJKRowling trending at number one on Twitter and said Rowling was a victim of ‘an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media’.

The letter wrote the hashtag declaring her dead on social media was ‘just the latest example of hate speech directed against her’.

Earlier this year, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland ruled it was ‘not fair’ for a radio show panelist Matt Cooper, of The Last Word, to brand Rowling a ‘transphobic bigot’ without evidence.

Complaints were made following the broadcast last year, and Ireland’s top broadcast regulator said the remark was ‘not fair’ as there was no ‘evidence’ to ‘back up’ the claim.

The BAI added the host failed to challenge the statement, ruling that the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs was breached.

It is the first time the BAI has endorsed a complaint in almost three years.


JK Rowling has been subjected to an onslaught of abuse that highlights an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media.

Rowling has consistently shown herself to be an honourable and compassionate person, and the appalling hashtag #RIPJKRowling is just the latest example of hate speech directed against her and other women that Twitter and other platforms enable and implicitly endorse.

We are signing this letter in the hope that, if more people stand up against the targeting of women online, we might at least make it less acceptable to engage in it or profit from it.

We wish JK Rowling well and stand in solidarity with her.

Ian McEwan, author; Lionel Shriver, author; Griff Rhys Jones, actor; Graham Linehan, writer; Maureen Chadwick, writer; Andrew Davies, writer; Frances Barber, actress; Craig Brown, writer; Alexander Armstrong, actor; Amanda Craig, writer; Philip Hensher, writer; Susan Hill, writer; Jane Thynne, writer; Ben Miller, actor; Simon Fanshawe, writer; James Dreyfus, actor; Frances Welch, writer; Francis Wheen, writer; Arthur Matthews, writer; Aminatta Forna, writer; Joan Smith, writer; Nick Cohen, journalist; Kath Gotts, composer & lyricist; Ann McManus, writer; Eileen Gallagher, writer & producer; Jimmy Mulville, producer; Lizzie Roper, actress; Stella O’Malley, author; Nina Paley, animator; Julie Bindel, journalist; Abigail Shrier, journalist; Rachel Rooney, author; Jane Harris, writer; Tatsuya Ishida, cartoonist; Lisa Marchiano, author; Zuby, musician and author; Debbie Hayton, journalist; Gillian Philip, Author, Jonny Best, musician; Manick Govinda, arts consultant; Russell Celyn Jones, writer; Magi Gibson, writer; Victoria Whitworth, writer; Dr Mez Packer, writer; Grace Carley, producer; Sam Leith, journalist; Malcolm Clark, television producer-director; Shirley Wishart, musician; Charlotte Delaney, writer; Nehanda Ferguson, musician; Justin Hill, writer; Trezza Azzopardi, writer; Birdy Rose, artist; Jess de Wahls, textile artist; Mo Lovatt, writer; Simon Edge, novelist; Tom Stoppard, playwright; and Amanda Smyth, writer  

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