The Emmy- and Grammy-winning comic came under fire last week for defending “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling’s transphobic remarks in his latest stand-up program, which is currently No. 4 on Netflix’s list of top streaming titles.
He proudly declares himself a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) in solidarity with Rowling, who has been labeled with the term for repeatedly expressing anti-transgender sentiments.
That portion of “The Closer” — as well as other quips about rapper DaBaby’s homophobic behavior this summer — fueled a backlash among members of the LGBTQ+ community on social media.
The remarks have also been denounced by social justice organizations, including GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition, and Netflix creators who said they’ll be severing ties with the platform “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
Chappelle’s upcoming documentary, a 118-minute film directed by “American Factory” Oscar winners Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert, chronicles the inner workings of last year’s socially distanced “Chappelle’s Summer Camp” festival. (Like Chappelle, Bognar and Reichert are also based in the Miami Valley.)
Chappelle reportedly had a moment of sincerity onstage Thursday as he promoted themes in the doc, telling the Hollywood Bowl audience to “do something nice for someone who looks nothing like you” and “trust one another.”
Last Thursday’s performance was attended by Tiffany Haddish, Brad Pitt, Jeff Ross, Michael Buffer, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Jon Hamm and Stevie Wonder. Wonder also shared a message of unity, calling on attendees to cancel hate and fear.
Though Chappelle didn’t repeat the controversial jokes at the event, he closed out by saying: “Thank God I’m canceled… ,” according to TMZ. “I bet you I’ll be someone better than you think.”
Dave Chappelle during the Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston on Nov. 9, 2019. (Trish Badger/imageSPACE/Zuma Press/TNS)