Dave Chappelle has been accused of homophobia and transphobia thanks to his latest Netflix special, The Closer. But the streaming platform is standing by the legendary comedian, despite a viral video stating that the streaming service is pulling the special.
On Oct. 8, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos in a memo, "We don't allow titles [on] Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it's an important part of our content offering."
There are also reports that three transgender employees were suspended after crashing a Netflix leadership committee meeting. Netflix denies that the employees were disciplined for speaking out on Twitter and other media platforms about their views.
The 48-year-old comedy legend has been called out for repeatedly targeting the LGBTQ community with his material. The National Black Justice Coalition asked for the content to be pulled, which Netflix has refused. Several activists have said his comedy is harmful.
Activist and writer Raquel Willis, who is also a Black trans woman, tweeted about the special. Willis wrote about Chappelle, “It’s convenient for Black cishet male comedians to talk about LGBTQ+ folks as if our group is only or even predominantly white. With that frame, they don’t have to contend with how Black cishet folks often enact (physical and psychological) violence on Black LGBTQ+ folks.”
This is Chappelle’s sixth and final Netflix special. The other specials include The Age Of Spin, Deep in The Heart Of Texas, Equanimity, The Bird Revelation and Sticks & Stones. All six are directed by Emmy-winning director Stan Lathan.