Dave Chappelle on being ‘canceled’ after Netflix special: ‘I love it’

“If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” Chappelle said Thursday after a standing ovation during a screening of his documentary.

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If you wondered if Dave Chappelle was upset or even worried about the prospect of being “canceled” after his recent Netflix special, The Closer, the comedian made it known he most certainly is not.

“If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” Chappelle said Thursday in response to a standing ovation he received from the crowd at a screening of Chappelle Documentary at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. “F**k Twitter. F**k NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to you. This is real life.”

Chappelle attended a Thursday evening screening of Untitled, which documents the “comic summer camp” he put on last year in his adopted city, Yellow Springs, Ohio, to help provide the town relief from the effects of COVID-19. The documentary features appearances by Snoop Dogg, Nas, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Stevie Wonder, Lizzo, Jeff Ross, and Jon Hamm.

The event marked the 48-year-old’s first time addressing the public debate that has been sparked by special The Closer, which has been a lightning rod for controversy immediately following its Oct. 5 release. “Gender is a fact” was just one of several incendiary declarations Chappelle leveled during the special. “Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth,” he said. “That is a fact.”

“Now, I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women,” he said in another bit. “I am just saying that those p–sies that they got… you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s not p—y, but it’s ‘Beyond P—y’ or ‘Impossible P—y’. It tastes like p—y, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood. That’s beet juice.” 

Chappelle spent much of the routine addressing the LGBTQ+ community, including sharing a story in which, after Chappelle confronted a gay white man about filming him and his wife, that man then called the cops on him. Another bit has him describing a time when he got into a fight with a butch lesbian, remarking, “I’m glad TMZ didn’t believe that—because I did beat the s— out of her. I’m not gonna lie. It was her fault. I had no choice.”

Dave Chappelle thegrio
Dave Chappelle (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

He also took things a step further by defending J.K. Rowling and DaBaby for their past comments on the LGBTQ+ community and said he considered himself a member of “Yeam TERF” — the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminists.

“Any of you who have ever watched me know that I have never had a problem with transgender people,” he said. “If you listen to what I’m saying, clearly, my problem has always been with white people.”

LGBTQ+ media monitoring group GLAAD released a statement against Chappelle’s special: “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.”

The National Black Justice Coalition also chimed in, calling for Netflix to remove the special.

“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,” David Johns, executive director of the NBJC, said in a statement. “Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”

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