Cancel culture is threatening to shutdown Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer.”
The always outspoken standup comic is pushing the public’s buttons again — and a swelling wave of culture critics and activist organizations are calling for his brand new Netflix special to be yanked from the streaming giant’s catalog.
The special — the sixth and final in the Emmy winner’s big-bucks deal with Netflix — premiered Tuesday, and immediately stoked the flames of controversy with incendiary jokes about transgender women.
Chappelle is also being accused of defending what many perceived to be problematic comments by rapper DaBaby and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, as well as deflecting criticism he faced for cracking wise about the trans community in previous specials “Equanimity” and “Sticks and Stones.”
In “The Closer,” Chappelle declares that he’s joining Rowling in “Team TERF!” (the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and conflated rapper DaBaby’s homophobic statements at a show over the summer with systemic racism.
“In our country, you can shoot and kill a [ N-word] — but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings,” Chappelle says on stage, referencing a 2018 shooting incident involving the rapper at a Walmart in North Carolina. The 19-year-old victim later died.
The brewing backlash is ample — but perhaps most shocking is the reaction from one of Netflix’s own: Jaclyn Moore, executive producer and showrunner of the streaming giant’s “Dear White People”
Moore bluntly declared her self “done” with Netflix.
“I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix,” she shared to Twitter after detailing her own transition in a passionate post. “Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art,” Moore continued, …. [but] I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
Meanwhile, the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group focused on the LGBTQ+ community, goes so far as to prod Netflix to pull “The Closer” from its menu.
“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.”
LGBTQ+ advocacy leaders at GLAAD also called out the acclaimed comic’s pattern of degrading jokes, declaring: “Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities.”
Reps for Chappelle and Netflix have so far declined to comment on the negative buzz, but the comic did address the LGBTQ+ community directly in “The Closer,” saying he harbors no “hate” for them.
“Oh, I’m jealous. I’m not the only black person that feels this way. We look at the gay community, we go, ‘Goddamn it — look at how well that movement is going! Look at how well you are doing.’ And we’ve been trapped in it this predicament for hundreds of years. How the f–k are you making that kind of progress?”
However, Chappelle goes on to claim there’s a big difference between the “old-school gangsta gays” who fought for change during the Stonewall era.
“I’m not that fond of these newer gays. Too sensitive. Too brittle. Those aren’t the gays I grew up with … They fought for their freedom. I respect that s–.”