Dave Chappelle condemned for defending JK Rowling in Netflix special over trans row

Chappelle’s comments have been criticised on social media

Peony Hirwani
Thursday 07 October 2021 12:50 BST
‘I'm team TERF’: Dave Chapelle defends JK Rowling in new Netflix special

Dave Chappelle has shown support for JK Rowling after weighing in on the writer’s comments about the transgender community.

During his newly released standup special The Closer, the 48-year-old comedian said he “agrees” that “gender is a fact”, as he discussed how the Harry Potter author had been branded a “Terf” (Trans-exclusionary radical feminist).

“They cancelled JK Rowling. My god,” Chappelle said during his set. “Effectually she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as s***, they started calling her a Terf… I’m Team Terf. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”

The Half Baked actor claimed he does not have any issue with the trans community, nor does he think “trans women aren’t women”.

“I am just saying that those p****** that they got, you know what I mean?” he said. “I’m not saying it’s not p****, but it’s Beyond P**** or Impossible P*****. It tastes like pussy, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood. That’s beet juice.”

Chappelle’s comments have been met with severe criticism on social media.

“As a trans woman, I have usually defended Dave Chappelle’s specials because I think they’re hilarious and his jokes about trans women never felt intentionally malicious,” actor Taylor Ashbrook tweeted.

The Closer changed my mind on that. That special felt so lazy and disingenuous and I’m really disappointed.”

Dana White, who is a program officer at True Colors United, a national LGBTQ youth homeless organization, added: “Nothing Dave Chappelle says changes the facts that trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary people are non-binary, that LGBTQ+ people should live free of harm and discrimination.

“He is wrong. And Netflix has empowered him to be wrong loudly.”

Along with defending Rowling, Chappelle also defended controversial rapper DaBaby, referencing two past incidents when the rapper made a number of homophobic comments during his set at Rolling Loud festival and also criticised HIV-positive people.

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

The Independent has contacted Chappelle’s representatives for comment.

In 2020, Rowling became embroiled in a trans row when she mocked a headline that included the inclusive phrase “people who menstruate”.

She commented: “’People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

She has since spoken out on the topic of transgender rights several times, and wrote an essay on the issue that was criticised by LGBTQ activists and Harry Potter stars including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

The Closer, which is expected to be Chappelle’s last special, was released on Netflix on Tuesday 5 October.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in