Dave Chappelle responds to Netflix special trans row – here’s what it’s all about

Dave Chappelle has spoken out after he was accused of being anti-trans over his new Netflix special.

The comedian has defended comments he made in stand-up special The Closer, which aired 5 October, but said he would be happy to meet with members of the trans community to discuss his views further.

His original comments caused a huge backlash and so some people are similarly outraged now that he has double-downed on them.

This is everything you need to know about the row.

What did he originally say?

Chapelle sparked controversy during his special by claiming “gender is a fact” and labelling himself a “terf” - which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

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“They canceled J.K. Rowling – my God,” he said. “Effectively, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as shit, they started calling her a TERF.”

Chappelle continued: “I’m team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”

In the same segment, the comedian went on to say that he was “not saying that to say trans women aren’t women” and that “people who watch his specials would know that I never had a problem with transgender people”.

How did people react?

Netflix employees were said to be angry about his comments and organised a walkout over the streaming services’ decision to air the special.

The National Black Justice Coalition’s executive director David Johns called out Netflix, and demanded that the platform remove the stand-up special.

“It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform,” Johns said in a statement acquired by Deadline.

However, Netflix’s co-chief executive Ted Sarandos backed Chappelle and refused calls to pull The Closer from the service, saying in an internal memo that it did not cross “the line on hate”.

He later apologised for how he handled internal dissent from employees, saying: “I screwed up.”

What has Chappelle said now?

In a video uploaded to Instagram, which was recorded at one of his live shows, Chapelle defended his comments and said that since he has made them he has been “cancelled”.

“You say you want a safe working environment at Netflix,” he said.

“Well it seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office any more.”

“Today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film.

“Thank God for Ted Sarandos at Netflix. “He’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”

Chappelle added he would be happy to meet with the trans community to discuss the issue but implied he didn’t exactly regret his comments.

“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience. But you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands,” he said.

He also said people in the LGBT community were not angry with him and that the furore was actually about “corporate interests”. He added: “For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supporting so I don’t know what all this nonsense is about.”

How have people reacted to his statement?

Responding to his comments, some people’s anger was renewed and said that he hadn’t been cancelled:

Others thought people were wrong to be offended:

Indy100 has contacted Netflix for comment.

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