Hollywood and LGBT Groups Call for Comedy Legend to be Canceled, But His Response is Epic


Call Dave Chappelle canceled and loving it.

Chappelle occupies a unique space in the entertainment pantheon: Not only is he a comedy legend but, at age 48, he’s still relevant and edgy. In fact, his only problem is that comedians aren’t expected to be edgy nowadays. Laughs are less important than applause. Sacred cows aren’t supposed to be slaughtered; they’re supposed to be genuflected to.

But that’s the great thing about being a comedy legend: One assumes Chappelle’s been told, and one assumes Chappelle doesn’t care. Remember, this is the guy who walked away from a massive contract for his own comedy sketch show for reasons he never fully explained — except, one presumes, he was unhappy with the material.

Thus, when calls for his cancellation began in earnest after he said “gender is a fact” in his latest standup special, he wasn’t much fazed. In fact, he’s embracing it.

“If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” Chappelle said to a standing ovation during a performance Thursday at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

'As Wild as It Gets': World No. 1 Golfer Scottie Scheffler Detained by Police Shortly Before PGA Championship Tee Time

“F*** Twitter. F*** NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks,” Chappelle added. “I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to you. This is real life.”

The audience included several big Hollywood names, including Sterling K. Brown, Tiffany Haddish, Chuck Lorre, Brad Pitt and Donnell Rawlings.

The controversy stemmed from remarks Chappelle made during his Netflix special “The Closer” in which he chose to acknowledge certain unpopular biological realities.

“Gender is a fact. 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,” Chappelle said during the special.

Should Netflix remove Chapelle's show?

Chappelle also joked that he was joining Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on “team TERF.” Rowling, who has made comments critical of the transgender movement, is regarded as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or TERF; few other acronyms carry such a kiss of death in the progressive sphere as that one.

Also from “The Closer:” “I don’t hate gay people, I respect the s*** out of you — not all of you,” Chappelle said. “I’m not that fond of these newer gays — too sensitive, too brittle. I miss the old-school gays … the Stonewall gays. They didn’t take s*** from anybody.”

And thusly were hands wrung and pearls clutched:

There's a Big Problem with NBC's New LGBT Nature Documentary 'Queer Planet'

Jaclyn Moore — the transgender former co-showrunner on Netflix’s “Dear White People” — expressed disappointment in Chappelle, who he called one of his “comic heroes.”

“I never loved Dave’s trans material before but this time it felt different,” Moore told Variety. “This is the first time I felt like, ‘Oh, people are laughing at this joke and they’re agreeing that it’s absurd to call me a woman.’ The fact is that’s the exact rhetoric and language that is used against us.”

“I’m really tired of my existence being a matter of debate, that this is something that we all just get to have an opinion about,” he added.

“We all get to have an opinion whether or not I am what I say I am. Look, I have no desire to cancel Dave Chappelle. He should make whatever he wants to make, but I will say to Netflix, it’s not like this was a live special. They saw this and were like, ‘Yeah this seems OK to put out there.’ The truth is, it’s not. It’s dangerous and it has real-world physical violence repercussions.”

In other words, biological truths cannot be told because they might cause danger to people who reject them. Moore has called for a boycott of Netflix and says he won’t work for them again “as long as they keep promoting and profiting from dangerous transphobic content.” He’s currently working on a “Queer as Folk” reboot for NBC streaming service Peacock, however — so, at least on the second count, Netflix being denied Moore’s services will have no practical effect in the short run.

However, there is one lie in what Moore said: He has every intention of canceling Dave Chappelle, the same as everyone who expects the comedian to do a 180 and profusely apologize for the content in “The Closer.” If he doesn’t, as far as they’re concerned, it’s consequences time.

Good luck with that, since the consequences don’t seem to have hit home. Chappelle’s special is the third most-streamed program on Netflix, according to Decider, behind “Maid” and cultural sensation “Squid Game.” Chappelle himself seems to “love” being canceled. And, what’s more, he got a standing ovation from a Hollywood crowd for telling an uncomfortable truth.

If this is what cancelation looks like, I’m loving it, too.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture