The special, titled “The Closer,” premiered on the streamer on Tuesday and is meant to serve as a final entry in a series of stand-up routines by Chappelle on Netflix. In the new release, the comedian makes explicit jokes about trans women and offers defenses for previous derogatory comments made by figures such as “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and rapper DaBaby.
Chappelle also references criticism he faced over the past two years for makings jokes about the trans community in his specials “Equanimity” and “Sticks and Stones.”
Representatives for Chappelle did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment, and Netflix declined to comment on the matter.
In a statement, GLAAD called out the pattern of derogatory jokes, saying that “Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities.”
Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don’t support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree. https://t.co/yOIyT54819
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 6, 2021
The National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group serving the LGBTQ+ community, also provided a statement, urging Netflix to remove the new special from its catalog.
“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. “Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence. Netflix should immediately pull ‘The Closer’ from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”
Jaclyn Moore, a writer, executive producer and showrunner on Netflix series “Dear White People,” expressed her disappointment in the streamer, declaring that she is “done” with the company.
“I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content,” Moore wrote in part.
I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix. 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. https://t.co/2naqrzW0G2
— Jaclyn Moore (@JaclynPMoore) October 7, 2021