Dave Chappelle: Anti-transgender Netflix show provokes protests

“The Closer”
Dave Chappelle’s anti-transgender Netflix comedy special sparked protests

Dave Chappelle rejects Protestant criticism. He accused sexual minorities of reacting “too sensitively”.

© Alex Edelman / AFP

The US comedian Dave Chappelle continues to cause negative headlines and protests on Netflix with his new comedy special “The Closer”. In his show, Chappelle compared trans women with the racist representation method of blackfacing.

The US streaming giant Netflix is ​​confronted with massive protests over a show by comedian Dave Chappelle that has been criticized as anti-transgender. A rally was called by employees at the Netflix headquarters in Los Angeles on Wednesday after Chappelle’s comments about transgender people had caused increasing waves in the past few days.

The protesters want to present program director Ted Sarandos with a list of demands. Ashlee Marie Preston, one of the organizers of the protests, said the rally had been moved to a larger area because of the “overwhelming” number of participants. It is about “the security and dignity of all marginalized communities,” said Preston.

Protests also reach Netflix boardrooms

The protest sparked on Chappelle’s show “The Closer”. Among other things, Chappelle had spoken about a US rapper who had “hit the LGBTQ community directly with AIDS,” apparently intended as a pun on the English word “ass”, the common coarse word for buttocks. He also compared trans women with the racist depiction of blackfacing.

Three Netflix employees have since been suspended for disrupting a boardroom meeting on the matter. One of them was Terra Field, a transgender herself, who advocates warning “The Closer” and promoting more “gay and transgender comedians and talent” on Netflix. A Netflix employee was fired for disclosing internal information about the cost of the offending “The Closer” episode.

In the dispute, several artists sided with the transgender activists. The lesbian comedian Hannah Gadsby, who makes programs for Netflix herself, called the streaming service an “immoral algorithm cult”.

Dave Chappelle rejects criticism

Chappelle dismissed criticism of his statements about transgender people with the remark that “gender is a fact”. At the same time, he accused sexual minorities of reacting “too sensitively”. For sexual minorities there have been improvements within a few years that black people would not have achieved in decades, said the comedian. In addition, white homosexuals would only present themselves as “minorities until they need to be white again”.

Organizations advocating for the rights of gay, bisexual and transsexuals point to studies showing that stereotypes about minorities have harmful effects in real life. Netflix program director Sarandos contradicted this in a letter to the workforce last week. On-screen content “doesn’t translate directly into real-world drawbacks,” he wrote, highlighting the importance of “artistic freedom.”


Shaver manufacturer Gillette's new ad campaign tells the touching story of a transgender teenager whose father helps shave.

See in the video: Twitter users are now excited about a commercial that tells the emotionally moving story of a transgender teenager whose proud father gives him tips on shaving.

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