The comedian’s sixth installment in his Netflix deal, “The Closer,” debuted on Tuesday and it includes a moment in which he discusses the controversy that surrounded the “Harry Potter” author in 2019 when she argued publicly that transgender women are essentially a threat to the gender identity of biological women. The writer doubled down on several occasions, arguing that trans women are not actually women, prompting swift and immediate backlash from the transgender community as many activists continue to fight to dissuade people of similar negative stereotypes.
Rowling was labeled a “TERF,” which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” essentially a term for people who call themselves feminists while still being transphobic.
“They canceled J.K. Rowling – my God,” Chappelle says in his special. “Effectively, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as (expletive), they started calling her a TERF.”
“I’m Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact,” Chappelle added (via USA Today).
His controversial comments on transgender people weren’t the only time he discussed the LGBTQ+ community during his special. Chappelle also discussed the recent backlash that rapper DaBaby received after making homophobic comments at a recent Miami-area music festival about people with HIV/AIDS. He was forced to make several apologies as criticism led to him being dropped from the Lollapalooza lineup.
In “The Closer,” Chappelle noted that the rapper, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, suffered more career strife from the homophobic comments than from a 2018 shooting he committed that left a 19-year-old dead.
“Part of the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t know DaBaby’s history,” Chappelle says (via Billboard). “He once shot [19-year-old Jaylin Craig] and killed him, in Walmart. This is true.”
“DaBaby shot and killed a [man] in Walmart in North Carolina. Nothing bad happened to his career,” he continued. “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.”
Fox46 reported at the time that the charges in the shooting were dropped after a key witness did not show up to testify. DaBaby claims that Craig was trying to rob him, but his family says that was not the case.
In October of 2019, the Grammy-nominated rapper told Billboard, “I don’t lose no sleep” over the shooting that he said was “unavoidable.”
Chappelle, who previously caught backlash for allegedly transphobic remarks made in his previous Netflix special “Sticks & Stones,” concluded his special by offering a half-hearted truce to the LGBTQ+ community when it comes to telling jokes about them.
“I am not telling another joke about you until we are both sure that we are laughing together,” the comedian says. “All I ask from your community – with all humility – will you please stop punching down on my people?”