Dave Chappelle Speaks To Students At Duke Ellington School Of The Arts

Comedian Dave Chappelle speaks to students of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts April 3, 2006 in Washington, DC. Chappelle, an alumnus of the Ellington school, spoke to the student body after the school received $15,000 from the GRAMMY Foundation for the construction of a recording studio.

—Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Dave Chappelle is back in some familiar hot water.

The comic has drawn backlash for some of his comments in his latest Netflix comedy special, “The Closer.”

During the special, which debuted Tuesday, Chappelle says “Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact.”

He then goes on to make explicit jokes about the bodies of trans women.

Chappelle caused ire in 2019 after making jokes about Caitlyn Jenner in his “Equanimity” special. His jokes about the trans community in his “Sticks and Stones” special the following year also evoked anger.

Chappelle references those past controversies in his newest set.

The National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group, called on Netflix to pull the special Wednesday.

“With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence,” David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said in a statement. “Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”

LGBTQ+ activist Taylor Ashbrook tweeted her disappointment Tuesday.

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

CNN has reached out to reps for Chappelle for comment.


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