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Netflix Refuses To Cancel Dave Chappelle Over LGBTQ Jokes, GLAAD Responds + Damon Wayans Defends Chappelle

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Is Dave Chappelle having the last laugh? Possibly. Netflix is refusing to take down his controversial comedy special, "The Closer," even after receiving tons of backlash over the LGBTQ+ jokes he dropped.

As folks try to "cancel" Dave, fellow comedian Damon Wayans is speaking out in his defense. More inside...

Dave Chappelle is no stranger to controversy. He's the man who walked away from a $50 million contract, ending his hit show "Chappelle's Show" on Comedy Central in 2004.

The 48-year-old comedian just doesn't give one or two f****. So imagine his response to reports about him being "canceled" after the release of his newest Netflix comedy special "The Closer."

Since the comedy special premiered, folks in the LGBTQ+ community have been speaking out and they claim Chappelle's new show is "transphobic."

"Dear White People" showrunner Jaclyn Moore said she's boycotting the streaming company over Dave's controversial comedy special, where the comedian makes numerous jokes about trans women.



"I told the story of my transition for @netflix and @most's Pride week. It's a network that's been my home on @DearWhitePeople. I've loved working there," Jaclyn tweeted. "I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content."



"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. Chappelle was one of my heroes. I was at his comeback show in NYC. But he said he's a TERF. He compared my existence to someone doing blackface. He talks about someone winning a Woman of the Year award despite never having a period should make women mad and that it makes him mad"



"And then he ended his special with a "but I had a trans friend" story. He says we don't listen. But he's not listening. Those words have real world consequences. Consequences that every trans woman I know has dealt with. Bruises and panicked phone calls to friends. That's real. So when he says people should be mad a trans woman won a "Woman of the Year" award... When he misgenders... When he says he should've told that mother her daughter WAS A DUDE... I just can't... I can't be a part of a company that thinks that's worth putting out and celebrating."

Needless to say, the LGBTQ+ community isn't feeling Dave's new special, however, everyone else is.

Despite the controversy, Netflix’s co-chief executive, Ted Sarandos, defended the comedy special in an internal memo to his staff.

The Washington Post reports:

Sarandos wrote that, although some people may find stand-up comedy to be “mean-spirited,” “our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”

“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him,” Sarandos added in the memo obtained by news outlets. “His last special ‘Sticks & Stones,’ also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award winning stand-up special to date.”

The memo followed condemnation from Jaclyn Moore, a transgender writer who worked on the Netflix original “Dear White People,” as well as criticism from Terra Field, a transgender software engineer at Netflix. Advocacy groups, including GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition, also condemned the special and asked for its removal.

After the release of the speical, three Netflix employees were suspended. While there were reports that the employees were reprimanded due to tweeting about the special, that doesn't seem to be true.

The NY Times reports:

Netflix recently suspended three employees, including a transgender employee who posted a Twitter thread last week criticizing a new Dave Chappelle stand-up special on the streaming service as being transphobic.

The employees were suspended after they attended a virtual business meeting among top executives at the company that they had not been invited to, a person familiar with the decision said on Monday, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter. Netflix said in a statement that the transgender employee, Terra Field, was not suspended because of the tweets critical of Mr. Chappelle’s show.

“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so."

Speaking of GLAAD...

GLAAD - a media monitoring organization founded as a protest against defamatory coverage of LGBT people - released a statement in regards to Dave Chappelle's new comedy special.

“Netflix has a policy that content ‘designed to incite hate or violence’ is not allowed on the platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that. While Netflix is home to groundbreaking LGBTQ stories, now is the time for Netflix execs to listen to LGBTQ employees, industry leaders, and audiences and commit to living up to their own standards.”

There have been reports that Netflix suspended employees for speaking out on social media about the comedy series. That isn't the case.

According to reports, three employees were suspended for crashing a very important meeting with executives. One of the people who crashed the meeting happened to be an employee who tweeted their disapproval of Dave Chappelle's special. The headlines turned into folks pointing the finger at Netflix for suspending employees for speaking out against the special, which isn't the case.

Terra Field, a senior software engineer based in San Francisco who identifies as queer and trans, was among those suspended late last week for attending the “QBR” — Netflix’s quarterly business review, a two-day affair that convenes the top 500 employees at the company.

Fellow comedian Damon Wayans defended Dave Chappelle while chopping it up with TMZ. He said he feels like Dave "freed the slaves."

“The comedians. We were slaves to PC culture,” Damon said. “As an artist, he’s Van Gogh with his ear off. He’s trying to tell us, ‘It’s okay.’ ”

“I’ve always been free,” Wayans noted, but he felt that Chappelle was saying, “all that I have, I’m not afraid to lose it for the sake of freedom of speech.”

“You can’t edit yourself,” said Wayans. “Comedians … we’re like … Mercedes makes a great car, but they gotta crash a lot of them before they perfect it.”

Asked about the backlash The Closer has received — the comedy special features several minutes of jokes about transgender people — he responded: “I can’t speak about the content of the show. But what I say is there’s a bigger conversation we need to have. Someone needs to look us in the eye and say, ‘You’re no longer free in this country. You’re not free to say what you want; you say what we want you to say. Otherwise, we will cancel you.’ That’s the discussion we need to have.”

Dave Chappelle fans are confused because when he was cracking jokes about Black people...there wasn't an uproar. Now, that Dave cracks jokes on the LGBTQ+ community, its an issue.

Have you watched Dave's new Netflix special? Were you offended or do you feel like Damon Wayans? 


Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

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