Dave Chappelle made his first public comments about the controversy over the transphobic jokes in his latest Netflix special The Closer during a live performance and screening of a new untitled documentary at the Hollywood Bowl Thursday night.
“If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” the comedian reportedly said to a standing ovation that included celebrities like Brad Pitt and Tiffany Haddish. He added later, “Fuck Twitter. Fuck NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to you. This is real life.”
In the new special, Chappelle declares himself “Team TERF” in solidarity with figures like author J.K. Rowling who believe that trans women should not be considered “real” women. “Gender is a fact,” he says. “Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth.”
GLAAD was among the organizations that denounced those sentiments, tweeting, “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.”