- 07 Oct 21
During his newly released standup special 'The Closer', Dave Chappelle said he “agrees” with J.K. Rowling that “gender is a fact".
Comedian Dave Chappelle has shown support for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling after weighing in on the writer’s highly controversial comments about the transgender community.
During his latest Netflix standup special The Closer, the 48-year-old said he “agrees” that “gender is a fact”, lamenting how Rowling has being labelled a “Terf” (Trans-exclusionary radical feminist) for her views.
Rowling has attracted strong criticism for statements about the concept of biological sex, as well as her takes on self-identification, gendered bathrooms and her illogical belief that trans women's access to cisgender women's spaces would increase the rates sexual and domestic violence.
After insisting that “gender is a fact” (even though Rowling was referring to biological sex being immovable and unchangeable, not gender, which is a social construct), Chappelle also blames Twitter for the death by suicide of a trans comedian who defended him against well-founded accusations of transphobia.
“Taking a man’s livelihood is akin to killing him!” Lest you think he’s talking about something that matters, he quickly explains: “Kevin Hart dreamt his entire life of hosting the Oscars, and when he finally got the job they just took it.”
“They” refers to LGBTQ people, whom Chappelle blames elsewhere in The Closer for the cancellations of J.K. Rowling and DaBaby.
This is not the first time that comic titan Dave Chappelle has been accused of transphobia. His previous Netflix specials included jokes about Caitlyn Jenner and the trans community.
Advocacy group GLAAD accused Chappelle of delivering “anti-LGBTQ diatribes”.
Quote tweeting a negative review of The Closer, it said: “Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalised 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.”
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. https://t.co/yOIyT54819
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 6, 2021
GLAAD also retweeted a post accusing Chappelle of serving “stupid routines about #LGBTQ people”.
The National Black Justice Coalition was also critical of the special and demanded Netflix pull it from the platform.
The coalition’s executive director David Johns said: “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 apologise to the transgender community.”
The Closer marks Chappelle’s sixth special with streaming giant Netflix after he signed a multi-million dollar deal in 2016.