Salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, Dave Chappelle and controversy — some things just go together. Throughout his entire career, Chappelle has faced controversy for pushing the limits of comedy. It has contributed to his massive success, but it has also gotten him in hot water, especially with the LGBTQ+ community.
They criticized him for being transphobic in his 2021 Netflix special “The Closer.” He spent a lot of time joking about transgender people, stating that “gender is a fact” and that he’s “team TERF,” meaning he sides with trans-exclusionary radical feminists who reject the idea that trans women are women. After the special was released, things got so heated that a group of Netflix employees staged a walkout at headquarters to advocate for transgender rights. Netflix stood by Chappelle and said they would not censor artists.
As for Chappelle, he doubled down on his beliefs towards transgender people in his 2022 special “What’s in a Name?” He addressed the backlash he faced, saying, “The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it. And it has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom, of artistic expression. That is valuable to me.” (via TV Insider)