By Alma Lizarraga
Dave Chappelle’s new special “The Closer’’ brought the comedian even more backlash than his special “Sticks and Stones” did, which had a focus on transgender jokes and cancel culture.
Chappelle faced backlash from the LGBTQ+ community, which he spent almost the entirety of his special criticizing.
Netflix faced walkouts from writers and advocates from the community who called Chappelle transphobic.
Jaclyn Moore, a showrunner of Netflix’s “Dear White People,” completely chastised the special declaring she was boycotting all of Netflix.
“Dear White People” is a critically acclaimed show that discusses the racism black people face.
Moore, as a transgender woman, felt offended by Chappelle’s special which made a lot of raunchy jokes about the community.
“I’ve gone too far, I’ve said too much.” Chappelle said in his special. “Every time I come out onstage, I get scared. I am looking around the crowd, searching for knuckles and Adam’s apples to see where the threats might be coming from.”
Most of his material was filled with jokes like these, taking easy shots at not just the LGBTQ+ community, but at the Me Too movement and black people.
The point of “The Closer’’ aren’t the jokes however, and is more of a monologue about what Chappelle is trying to communicate.
Chappelle compares how differently the black and transgender community are treated in society.
He points out how quickly the LGBTQ+ community grew and acquired change in society, much slower than the black community.
Chappelle talks about rapper DaBaby, who was cancelled for making transphobic jokes about AIDs earlier this year.
Chappelle points out that the rapper killed a black man in a parking lot, but it was the transphobic jokes that ruined his career.
Several people misconstrued Chappelle for defending DaBaby’s jokes, completely missing the point that DaBaby got away with killing a man.
“The Closer” is trying to discuss the inequalities these communities are facing and yes, by doing this, it also criticizes the LGBTQ+ community.
Shortly after Moore publicly made her stance against Chappelle, several people noted that she was a white woman working on a show about black inequality, criticizing a black comedian.
Though Moore may or may not have a right to work on a show trying to highlight black struggles, she ironically helped Chappelle’s points.
White people tend to have a lot of audacity and leeway over black people even when they’re LGBTQ+.
Chappelle’s criticisms never once deny the LGBTQ+ nor any community any right to live.
He speaks about supporting the Me Too movement before criticizing women in power for not risking more to support the cause.
He affectionately talks about his transgender friend, Daphne Dorman, and criticize the community for not supporting her more.
Dorman, who committed suicide, is a controversial part of Chappelle’s specials as many think he’s using her as proof he’s not transphobic.
Though he does speak of her to communicate his experience with transgender people, Chappelle’s intentions are to talk about his experience with how a member of the community was unfairly treated.
Chappelle actually spends a bit too much time talking about Dorman herself as a person, affectionately talking about her as a comedian.
The problem with Chappelle’s jokes this special, is that they don’t always communicate what he’s trying to say to the audience.
Sometimes when the tension is high, he’ll break it by joking about punching a transgender person in the face.
These jokes are so absurd, it is obvious they are just jokes and not at all social commentary.
However because they are so detached from his criticisms, it does come across as an attack on these communities.
Early in the special Chappelle made a pedophilic joke about a priest, which had almost nothing to do with the rest of his material.
The joke is extremely dark, probably the most shocking of all of his jokes this special, and it made no headlines.
Most people focused primarily on his jokes about the LGBTQ+ community, proving his point.