The following contains direct quotes of Chappelle's comments about the LGBTQ+ community, particularly the trans community, that may be offensive and upsetting.
Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special, The Closer, dropped on Netflix on Tuesday, and before its release, it was receiving major hype, especially because the notoriously reclusive comedian has said many times that this is his last special. And also because Morgan Freeman featured in the special’s teaser.
But after many flocked to the streaming platform to watch Chappelle riff on the latest news and hot topics of the day, a huge divide in opinion has formed. Some on social media are very vocally calling Chappelle the GOAT, and others are saying his “punching down” jokes are gross and queerphobic.
A major target appears to be the LGBTQ+ community with Chappelle spending much of his time joking about rapper DaBaby’s queerphobic comments earlier this year, defending TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists), JK Rowling’s offensive comments, and trolling Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. He also made jokes about Jewish people.
"A lot of the LGBTQ community doesn’t know about DaBaby’s history,” Chappelle said in his special. “He once shot a n**** and killed him in Walmart. Oh, this is true, Google it. Nothing bad happened to his career. Do you see where I’m going with this? In our country, you can shoot and kill a n****, but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings."
Chappelle gave a lot more attention after that to the LGBTQ+ community. He said in one section, "Gay people are minorities until they need to be white again," seemingly completely negating Black gay people and Black trans people.
He then went on to disparage the public's critique of JK Rowling’s offensive comments last year aimed at the transgender community, going so far as to call himself a TERF.
“They canceled J.K. Rowling – my God," Chappelle says. "Effectually, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as ****, they started calling her a TERF. I'm Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact."
His diatribe then turned toward the dissection of trans bodies and women’s bodies, mocking them for their apparent inauthenticity.
"Now, I am not saying that to say trans women aren't women, I am just saying that those p***ies that they got… you know what I mean? I'm not saying it's not p***y, but it's Beyond P***y or Impossible P***y. It tastes like p***y, but that's not quite what it is, is it? That's not blood," he said. "That's beet juice."
Chappelle recalled how he once asked why it was easier for Caitlyn Jenner to transition in public than for Cassius Clay to change his name to Muhammad Ali, before adding, “Caitlyn Jenner was voted Woman of the Year, her first year as a woman. Ain't that something?... Never even had a period, ain't that something?"
He then told a joke about extra-terrestrials returning to earth after leaving thousands of years ago, wanting to make a movie about the phenomenon, calling it, “Space Jews.”
Some fans on social media were quick to defend Chappelle as thigh-slapping funny and say that people are too easily offended these days.
Others were not so quick to shower him with praise.
The arguing on Twitter has continued, but as Chappelle addressed in his special, he is not very concerned with what people have to say about him on Twitter and social media.
“A lot of people got mad at me and dragged me on Twitter,” he says. “I don't give a f**k, because Twitter's not a real place."
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