'I'm Done,' Trans Producer of Netflix Series Severs Ties with Streaming Service Over Dave Chappelle's Transphobic Comments

Monday October 11, 2021
Originally published on October 7, 2021

Dave Chappelle is getting pushback for making transphobic and homophobic comments in his Netflix special "The Closer." In the special, which began airing on Tuesday, he says "Gender is a fact," before going on to slam the transgender community.

"Trans women" genitalia are "not quite what it is," he says, before throwing his support with controversial "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling. Last year, Rowling was roundly criticized for tweets considered transphobic, which she defended in a lengthy post on her website.

Deadline reports that Chappelle also said he's part of 'Team TERF!' (the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist). Chappelle's sixth Netflix special also seeks to offer a contrast between rapper DaBaby's homophobic statements this summer and systemic racism."

He says: "In our country, you can shoot and kill a [n-word], but you better not hurt a gay person's feelings," referencing a "2018 incident involving the rapper at a Walmart in North Carolina that saw another man shot and later die," writes Deadline.

GLAAD tweeted their issues with Chappelle's comments: "Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don't support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree."

Chappelle's comments have also led to Netflix losing Jaclyn Moore, an executive producer of the series, "Dear White People." Moore tweeted she will no longer be working with the streaming service.

Though happy with her relationship with Netflix, she wrote: "I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content."

She doubled down in a second tweet. "I love so many of the people I've worked with at Netflix. Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art... But I've been thrown against walls because, "I'm not a 'real' woman." I've had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @Netflix, I'm done."

In the special, Chappelle attempts to mitigate his comments by saying: "I am not telling another joke about you until we are both sure that we are laughing together," he says in a personal address to the trans and LBGTQ+ communities, noting his close friendship with now deceased transgender comedian Daphne Dorman. "All I ask from your community — with all humility — will you please stop punching down on my people?"

"The National Black Justice Coalition's executive director David Johns certainly had something to say also. The current head of the nearly 20-year-old civil rights group wants 'The Closer' taken off Netflix ASAP," adds Deadline.

"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. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence.

Netflix should immediately pull 'The Closer' from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.

Make no mistake: Black LGBTQ+ and same gender people exist — and have always existed. The fight against oppression is not a zero sum game, and the pervasiveness of white supremacy in the United States is not an excuse for homophobia or transphobia."