Comedian Dave Chappelle is in the hot seat once again after he made a number of offensive comments during his new Netflix special, The Closer. At one point during the special, Chappelle talked about Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling's recent comments about transgender women. In June 2020, Rowling retweeted an article that used the phrase, "people who menstruate." The popular author took issue with the phrase and issue a comment of her own.
“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she tweeted.
“Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Making matters worse, Rowling followed up her initial comments with a thread of tweets addressing the matter in depth.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” Rowling continued.
“If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
GLAAD, comedian Pete Davidson and thousands of Harry Potter fans criticized Rowling for her cruel comments. Many characterized Rowling as a TERF, a term often used to describe those who classify themselves as feminists while still making transphobic comments. In spite of this, Chappelle has elected to stand by Rowling.
"They canceled J.K. Rowling – my God," Chappelle said.
"Effectively, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as f---, they started calling her a TERF."
After labeling himself as a TERF, Chappelle took things one step further.
"I'm Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact," Chappelle added.
As more and more people caught wind of Chappelle's comments, criticism of The Closer continued to build.
"The transphobic comments in Dave Chappelle's latest Netflix special are absolutely abhorrent. It's disgusting it's given such a platform," one Twitter user wrote.
Rowling was not the only public figure to receive Chappelle's support. During his stand-up special, Chappelle also offered support for Jonathan "DaBaby" Kirk. Earlier this year, DaBaby made a few offensive comments during a music festival in Miami, Florida.
"If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that'll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up," DaBaby told the crowd.
"Ladies, if your p---- smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d--- in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up."
Dua Lipa, Demi Lovato, Elton John and several other celebrities called the rapper out for his comments. A number of music festivals and businesses also cut ties with the bestselling artist. However, Chappelle has moved closer to the musical act.
“All the questions you might have had about all these jokes I’ve said in the last few years, I hope to answer tonight. And I’d like to start by addressing the [LGBTQ] community directly. I want every member of that community to know that I come here tonight in peace and I hope to negotiate the release of DaBaby," Chappelle said.
“Now, you know I go hard in the paint, but even I saw that s--- and was like, ‘God----, DaBaby.' He pushed the button, didn’t he? He pushed the button, punched the [LGBTQ] community right in the AIDS. Can’t do that, can’t do that. But I do believe—and I’ll make this point later—that the kid made a very egregious mistake. I will acknowledge that. But, you know, a lot of the [LGBTQ] community doesn’t know DaBaby’s history. He’s a wild guy.”
As time went on Chappelle referenced an incident in which DaBaby is accused of shooting a young man outside of a Wal-Mart in self-defense. Chappelle compared the backlash between the two incidents while eliminating context.
"DaBaby shot and killed a n---- in Walmart in North Carolina. Nothing bad happened to his career," Chappelle said.
"Do you see where I'm going with this? In our country, you can shoot and kill a [man], but you better not hurt a gay person's feelings."
Much like his comments about Rowling, his comments regarding DaBaby drew backlash as well.