Comedian Dave Chappelle has landed himself in yet another controversy with the release of his latest Netflix special, in which he took aim at progressives for their views on gender and defended Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling against trans activists.
In his new comedy special, The Closer, Chappelle stated plainly that “gender is a fact” and defended Rowling, who is facing a cancellation mob for her critical views on biology and gender. Transgender activists and their progressive allies claim Rowling is “transphobic.”
“Gender is a fact,” says Chappelle in 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. That is a fact. Now, I’m not saying that to say trans women aren’t women. I am saying that those pu**ies they got … you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s not pu**y, but it’s Beyond Pu**y or Impossible Pu**y. It tastes like pu**y, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood. That’s beet juice.”
Chappelle declared: “I’m team TERF!”
TERF, which is short for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” is the often-pejorative term used to describe women who do not subscribe to the idea that men who claim to be women are women. The term is used to denigrate women who reject progressive gender ideology.
“Any of you who have ever watched me know that I have never had a problem with transgender people. If you listen to what I’m saying, clearly, my problem has always been with white people,” Chappelle later joked.
In a review for the Daily Beast, editor Marlow Stern took issue with Chappelle’s remarks about transgenderism, as well as his jokes about DaBaby, a hip hop artist who was cancelled earlier this summer for making apparently homophobic jokes during a set at Miami’s Rolling Loud festival in July.
A sole critical review by Ian Thomas Malone listed on Rotten Tomatoes, pans the set for “Chappelle’s rampant transphobia,” noting that it “doesn’t need to be a problem as long as the jokes land, but his obsession with grievances supersedes any pretense of crafting actual humor.”
Despite the initial slate of negative critical reviews, the audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes boasts 94% approval, putting The Closer on track to becoming one of Chappelle’s highest rated specials to date.
Chappelle previously earned the ire of progressives when he released Sticks & Stones in 2019, which was similarly panned by critics but embraced by the audience with a near-perfect 99% audience score. In the previous special, Chappelle made fun of actor Jussie Smollett for his hate crime hoax, took aim at Michael Jackson’s accusers, and defended fellow comedian Louis C.K. at the height of the #MeToo movement.