Dave Chappelle confronts trans backlash over his Netflix special


Dave Chappelle confronted recent backlash on his podcast as he slammed trans protesters who claimed his transphobic jokes caused violence against them, but then turned up to his show and became violent in the crowd.

The comedian's show in Minneapolis last summer was forced to change venues because of the backlash from the community. And while Chappelle was met with a line of fans and a standing ovation at the Varsity Theater, he was also met with violent protesters.

In the latest episode of his podcast, 'The Midnight Miracle' podcast with co-hosts Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey, Chapelle said the protesters threw eggs at him, yelled for him to go home, and even threw a barricade at the crowd.

He pointed out the hypocrisy of protesters who have blamed transphobes and those speaking out against trans for recent violence against the trans community, yet are now causing violence themselves.

Chappelle drew a backlash in 2021 for material in his Netflix comedy special 'The Closer' that some in the LGBTQ+ community said ridiculed transgender people. His supporters viewed it as a cry against cancel culture.

Chappelle's show at Minneapolis' First Avenue club in July was canceled with the venue apologizing to the community for booking him and vowing to keep the club a 'safe space.'

'I guess apparently they had made a pledge to the public at large that they would make their club a safe space for all people, and that they would ban anything they deemed transphobic,' Chappelle said on the podcast. 'This is a wild stance for an artistic venue to take, especially one that's historically a punk rock venue.'

Yet, when his show was rescheduled for the Varsity Theater, large groups of protesters swarmed the outside of the venue and became violent.

'These were grown people of various genders and gender identities. They threw eggs. They threw eggs at the [fans] who were lined up to see the show,' he said on the podcast.

Chappelle also talked about a protester who he said threw a police barricade into the crowd.

'One lady was so mad with the protesters, she picked up a police barricade,' Chappelle added. 'You ever seen one? They look like a bike rack. This bitch picked that barricade up by herself and threw it at the crowd. I gotta tell you, it's an amazing feat of strength for a woman.'

But Chappelle said the protesters did not succeed in getting his show canceled. Instead, when he walked on stage, he was greeted with a standing ovation.

'When I walked on stage, it was a huge ovation because suddenly going to see a comedy show was this huge act of defiance,' Chappelle said.

'I don't think anyone had any malicious intent. In fact, one of the things that these people, the trans and their surrogates, always say is that my jokes are somehow gonna be the root cause of some impending violence that they feel like is inevitable for my jokes.

But I gotta tell you, as abrasive as they were, the way they were protesting, throwing eggs at people, throwing barricades, cussing and screaming, [none of my fans] beat 'em up. In fact, the people in the crowd would just say, 'We love you. Like what are you talking about?''

Chappelle continued his argument by saying that he's not mad that the groups take issue with his work, but that 'because they don't like it, I'm not allowed to say it.'

'Now I have a belief that the gay community is not monolithic, and I think that in regards to me, that there's probably a variety of opinions throughout that,' he said. 'But there's a thing they do where they deliberately obscure what I think they believe is the intent of my work to make a moment of it that I don't know that the work necessarily merits. You know what I mean?'... (Read more)

Submitted 3 days ago

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