In his latest comedy special, beloved comedian Dave Chappelle embraced "being canceled" amid controversy over supposed transphobic comments.
"If this is what being canceled is like, I love it," said Chappelle said Thursday. "F--- Twitter. F--- NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks." The 48-year-old comic added: "I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to you. This is real life."
Chappelle's critics accused the comic of "ridiculing trans people" in his Netflix special "The Closer," which debuted earlier this week, reported The Hill. "Gender is a fact," he said during the program while defending author J.K. Rowling against critics who openly called her transphobic.
"Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact," said Chappelle.
His comments earned him considerable pushback from The National Black Justice Coalition, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, who urged Netflix to remove "The Closer" from its platform. They said the media giant "should know better."
Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn P Moore, who is transgender, announced a boycott of Netflix over the "transphobic" special, claiming that the comedian's jokes were "dangerous."
"The fact is that’s the exact rhetoric and language that is used against us," Moore said in an interview with Variety. "He talks about our feelings being hurt. My feelings are fine, but being thrown against a wall hurts or worrying at night if I can get home safe."
"I’m really tired of my existence being a matter of debate, that this is something that we all just get to have an opinion about. We all get to have an opinion whether or not I am what I say I am," Moore continued. "Look, I have no desire to cancel Dave Chappelle. He should make whatever he wants to make."
But Moore said to Netflix "it’s not like this was a live special." He claimed they saw this and were like, 'Yeah this seems okay to put out there.' "The truth is it’s not. It’s dangerous and it has real world physical violence repercussions."
"People like to say, “Oh, it’s just a joke.” I get the joke," Moore added. "By the way there’s a lot that’s funny about being trans, but the idea that it’s funny that we call ourselves women, which was the subtext of a lot of those jokes, is not one of them. It’s actually the same language used by people who seek to hurt us."
GLAAD also slammed Chappelle, adding the comedian's brand "has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities."
A Netflix spokesperson denied a request for comment at the time of writing.