Dave Chappelle is arguably one of the most famous comedians of our time. He is also one of the most successful comedians with decades of experience and deals with top media companies like Netflix. In 2016, he signed a $ 20-million-per-release comedy special deal, further cementing his legacy in the entertainment industry.
However, it may seem as though he is always in the news negatively after each comedy special drops. In his latest Netflix special, Chappelle made some ‘jokes’ about the transgender community, which people didn’t find funny.
To make matters worse, this is not the first of such jokes for Chappelle. In 2021, his Netflix special titled “Dave Chapelle: The Closer” got a lot of backlash from the public for transphobic jokes. Similarly, he released his latest special, “The Dreamer ” on December 31st, and critics are not happy at all.
In the stand-up movie, Chappelle tells a story about meeting Jim Carrey on the set of his 1999 movie, “The Man on the Moon.” At that time, Carrey was using ‘method acting’ by staying in character at all times to portray Andy Kaufman. Therefore, the movie crew told Chappelle and other people on set to address Carrey as “Andy” at all times.
“I wanted to meet Jim Carrey, and I had to pretend this n—a was Andy Kaufman all afternoon. And he was clearly Jim Carrey. I could look at him, and I could see he was Jim Carrey. Anyway, I say all that to say that’s how trans people make me feel,” Chappelle said in his special.
He also made many other jokes about gender identity and “preferred pronouns” in his routine, which upset a lot of people. Prominent entertainment outlets like Rolling Stone, Variety, and BuzzFeed believe Chappelle is “obsessed” with mocking the trans community.
Many viewers also agreed with this take, following his years-long pattern of attacking the community. Rolling Stone’s Marlow Stern wrote an article concerning this issue with the headline “Dave Chappelle’s ‘The Dreamer’ Proves He’s Obsessed With Trans People.”
He wrote, “It’s unfortunate that Chappelle’s The Dreamer is, like some of his prior Netflix specials, obsessively fixated on the trans community because it’s not an area he particularly excels at, resorting to puerile premises and punchlines.”
“There are, of course, ways to artfully tell a trans joke — take Michelle Wolf’s recent Netflix special It’s Great to Be Here — but Chappelle is apparently incapable of having most of his bits extend beyond mocking genitalia or pronouns. It’s not just tired but uninspired,” he continued.
Variety’s Editor William Earl also commented on the comedian’s “obsession with mocking trans people,” saying, “Maybe it’s time for Dave Chappelle to try some new material.” Internationally, the UK’s Telegraph also called Chappelle a “broken record” for his continuous jabs at the trans community.
They also gave it a one-star rating to show their displeasure. Several Liberals also believe that he “learned nothing” from all the backlash he got from his previous jokes.
Nevertheless, some people genuinely enjoyed Chappelle’s special. They believe some people only want something to complain about, and his jokes are “harmless.”
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