This is not the first time that the 48-year-old comic, who has won several Emmy and Grammy awards, has been criticized for comments considered homophobic or transphobic. This time he is at the center of a controversy following jokes about the genre in his show The Closer, released last week in the United States.
Gender is a fact. Every human in this room, every human being on Earth had to go through a woman’s legs to be on Earth. It’s a fact, he said in particular. Some of his problematic jokes are about anatomy, especially when the comedian compares the genitals of transgender people to vegan meat substitutes.
In passing, he defends British author JK Rowling, accused last year of making insulting comments about transgender people on Twitter.
Chappelle’s statements have not been to the liking of LGBTQ advocacy groups, such as the National Black Justice Coalition, who asked Netflix to deprogram this show.
Netflix defends a humor “that exists to push the limits”
In a note to Netflix staff, Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of the streaming giant, said Dave Chappelle’s work did not amount to hate and that the company would not remove the program, according to Variety, who was able to consult the document.
Some talent may join with third parties to ask us to remove the show in the coming days, which we will not do., indicates the note.
We do not allow [sur] Netflix shows programs designed to incite hatred or violence, and we don’t think The Closer crosses that line. I do admit, however, that it’s hard to distinguish between commentary and insult, especially with the stand-up, which exists to push the boundaries.
According to Variety, three people employed by Netflix who had invited themselves to a virtual meeting of executives to protest against this spectacle were suspended.
According to the media, this list includes engineer Terra Field, who identifies as transgender and claimed on Twitter last week that Dave Chappelle was attacking
the trans community and the very validity of transidentity.
These people were punished for having attended a meeting to which they were not invited, and not for having criticized the program, argues Variety.