TV

So-called ‘cancel culture’ victim Dave Chappelle handed more Netflix shows after anti-trans row

Josh Milton February 19, 2022
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Dave Chappelle on stage

Dave Chappelle. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame )

Dave Chappelle, so-called cancel culture’s most recent comedian victim, has been handed a new Netflix show even after a row over his anti-trans jokes.

Chappelle, 48, became a lightning rod for criticism in October last year when his special with the streaming giant aired that featured mocking jokes about trans people.

His remarks – and CEO Ted Sarandos’ bungled handling of the controversy – touched off outrage within and outside of Netflix, with Black and trans Netflix staffers staging a walk-out backed by celebrities such as Elliot Page and Jonathan Van Ness.

In the months since The Closer aired, Netflix refused to distance itself from the Emmy-winning comedian. And on Friday (18 February) the company doubled down on its unwavering backing as it announced Chappelle’s Home Team.

Cancel culture strikes again.

Dave Chappelle bags new Netflix show even after anti-trans row

The series of stand-alone comedy shows will feature comedians hand-picked by Dave Chappelle, who is to serve as executive producer, Variety reported. All four of the comics are decades-long stand-up veterans.

First in the lineup is Earthquake, known off stage as Nathaniel Stroman, who will be giving his wrap on health and prostate exams on 28 February. Donnell Rawlings will be next, but no date for his episode has been set.

Chappelle will personally introduce each jokester during the four-part programme. “I’ve been doing this a long time and comedians like Quake and Donnell are not only friends but have inspired my own career,” he said in a press release.

“Anyone in the comedy community knows these names and knows their time to shine is long overdue. I am proud to be a part of this moment.”

Dave Chappelle is seen outside Dior during Paris Fashion Wee. (Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Netflix has come under fire in recent months for its efforts to keep itself in the Dave Chappelle business.

The Closer saw Chappelle, who has a long history of “jokes” taunting LGBT+ people, make further potshots against the community and trans folk in particular.

During the set, Chappelle declared himself with bolshy pride as “team TERF,” an acronym that stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” before sharing a joke about beating up a lesbian woman, defending JK Rowling and making jabs against trans women’s genitalia.

To his critics, which included Netflix’s own workers, Chappelle’s anti-trans comments would promote real-world harm if not denounced.

Netflix bosses responded to such detractions by throwing their weight behind Chappelle while the comedian leaned hard into the conflict and decried “cancel culture”.

Ted Sarandos later walked back on his comments on the eve of a planned employee walkout. Admitting he “screwed up,” the Netflix CEO said he should have led with more “humanity” when people accused Chappelle of transphobia.

“Of course, storytelling has a real impact in the real world,” he told Variety, “that impact can be hugely positive and it can be quite negative.”

More: Dave Chappelle, netflix

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