Dave Chappelle, the comedian and former host of “Chappelle’s Show,” has become a target for transphobia in recent weeks due to jokes he made during his performance in the Netflix special The Closer.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Chappelle has a history of making statements about transgender people in the past in his standup routines. But with the furor surrounding his most recent set, Chappelle has said that he’s ready and willing to meet with any trans people offended by the jokes in The Closer and hear them out in hopes of furthering his education.
Netflix has taken some heat for hosting is latest special
Netflix has come under criticism from the LGBTQ community for hosting Chappelle’s latest special, as The Closer is filled with transphobic jokes that have been seen as “cissexist” and harmful to the trans community.
However, Netflix has said that The Closer is a piece of art and freedom of speech and not meant to offend anyone.
After the comedy special was released, Netflix stood by its decision to keep it on its platform despite the negative reactions from the LGBTQ community.
Dave Chappelle says he’s ready to meet with the trans community
It’s now been reported that Chappelle has reached out to the trans community to assure them that he stands by his comedy work but has genuine questions about their experiences. It will have to be at a time and place of his choosing. He also won’t allow them to bully him. It seems like a fair and reasonable demand considering that Chappelle is a highly sought-after comedian and performer.
Trans people still make up a small percentage of the population, and many trans people’s concerns often get swept under the rug for others more vocal about transgender issues.
The Closer comedy special has caused the type of stir that very few people could’ve seen coming. It’s already been reported that Chappelle isn’t done making transgender jokes, and the heated reactions from the trans community and their supporters will undoubtedly fuel more of his material in the future.
There have been a lot of people saying some pretty hurtful things on social media. If they want to have a productive conversation with the man behind Chappelle’s Show, they should try not to be dismissive or insensitive.
There’s a place and time
After Chappelle receives a ton of backlash and criticism for his The Closer comedy special — which is entirely possible — if he still wishes to meet with the trans community, perhaps it would be best to do so in a public setting than a private home or studio.
He should invite a variety of trans people, perhaps not only those whose opinions he agrees with. It could be beneficial for both trans people and the larger community to hear his point of view in an open, non-threatening setting.
Many trans people are more concerned with transphobic bullying at this point, particularly on social media. They’re already dealing with enough hate from cisgender people who aren’t nearly as vocal about trans issues.
Trans people are more marginalized
Considering the public outcry about Chappelle’s comedy special, it’s also worth noting that trans people are still at a pretty low point of awareness when it comes to the general population.
This means that many cisgender people are still unaware of the struggles transgender people face in modern society. Many cisgender people are also quick to promote their own specific agenda regarding transgender issues, completely bypassing any trans experiences at all. Dave Chappelle might be the only person who can find some way of bridging the gap and lessening the divide among all genders.