Dave Chappelle Responds To ‘The Closer’ Backlash: ‘If This Is What Being Canceled Is, I Love It’
After being blasted for his “transphobic” jokes in “The Closer,” the comic performed at the Hollywood Bowl and dismissed the outcry: “F— Twitter. This is real life.”
Dave Chappelle isn’t backing down after some critics called for his latest Netflix stand-up special, The Closer, to be yanked off the streamer because of the comedy legend’s “transphobic” jokes.
On October 7, Chappelle appeared in-front of a celeb-studded crowd for a Hollywood Bowl screening of Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary, a 118-minute film that offers an inside look at last year’s “Summer Camp” series near Chappelle’s home in Yellow Springs, Ohio, meant to reinvigorate the tiny town during the toughest days of the COVID-19 pandemic as it hosted his famous friends, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” Chappelle said in response to a standing ovation from the Hollywood Bowl crowd.
That line, and many more like it, “was greeted by rapturous applause”, which THR says included a masked Brad Pitt, Tiffany Haddish, former Chappelle’s Show star Donnell Rawlings, comedian Jeff Ross and others.
At another point, Chappelle added: “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.”
The 48-year-old comic’s sixth and final special in his lucrative deal with Netflix includes numerous button-pushing jokes. As the New York Post notes, Chappelle declared in The Closer that he’s joined Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on team TERF, the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
He also asserts that while DaBaby’s career was negatively impacted after the rapper made homophobic remarks at a concert, his livelihood was not affected by his connection to a fatal shooting.
“In our country, you can shoot and kill a [N-word] — but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings,” Chappelle said.
Many more quotes from The Closer have been published as problematic statements, inciting condemnations from some notable figures.
Netflix’s own Jaclyn Moore, a transgender executive producer and showrunner of Dear White People who identifies as a woman, said she’s “done” with the streaming service.
“I told the story of my transition for @netflix and @most’s Pride week” Moore tweeted. “I’ve loved working there. I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
The National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group focused on black members of the LGBTQ+ community, called for The Closer to be pulled entirely.
“With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better,” NBJC executive director David Johns said in a statement to Deadline.
“Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence. Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”
GLAAD, an organization that monitors media portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community, tweeted, “Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities.”
It’s not just Chappelle’s celebrity pals that are in his corner, either. Comedy fans evidently love the special, as The Closer currently holds a 96 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite negative words from numerous critics, no Tomatometer score indicating the percentage of positive professional reviews has been posted.