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‘Comedian’ Dave Chappelle brands critics ‘transgender lunatics’ and calls monkeypox a ‘gay disease’

Emily Chudy July 22, 2022
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Dave Chappelle has branded his critics 'transgender lunatics' after gig cancellation

Dave Chappelle has branded his critics 'transgender lunatics' after gig cancellation (Shannon Finney/Getty Images)

Dave Chappelle branded his critics “transgender lunatics” after protesters forced his comedy show to be cancelled and moved to a different venue.

Ahead of the 48-year-old comedian’s performance at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Wednesday (20 July), “around 50 protesters” showed up in support of trans rights, according to Star Tribune.

One protester told the outlet that joking about the trans community when they have faced violence and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation “only adds to the danger”.

Although the protests were not explicitly cited as a reason, First Avenue then cancelled the sold-out show and announced it would be moved to nearby Varsity Theater, stating the venue must “hold ourselves to the highest standards”.

According to a review of the show by Star Tribune, Chappelle mocked those protesting outside the venue after the show’s cancellation, calling them “transgender lunatics” and joking that they were probably hired by his wife.

He added in his routine that “I can see a transgender hit squad coming from a mile away”.

The gig’s cancellation came as 128 people signed a petition to First Avenue asking the venue not to platform Dave Chappelle.

Star Tribune‘s reviewer, Neal Justin, added that “early in the set, Dave Chappelle seemed sympathetic” to protesters.

“But after a few glasses of booze (and a Foggy Geezer beer) he admitted that the cancellation had been devastating and hoped the club would be more courageous in the future,” he added.

The reviewer claimed Chappelle “also found time to try out new material and play off the punchy crowd”.

“He chided a woman in the front row for wearing a mask, called monkeypox a ‘gay disease’ and accused The Price Is Right of being racist.”

Dave Chappelle has previously come under fire for comments he made in his Netflix special The Closer, including declaring that he is “Team TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and making derogatory jokes about trans women’s bodies.

During the show, which premiered in October 2021, the comedian mused about the controversy surrounding JK Rowling before declaring he agreed with her, saying “gender is a fact”.

He said: “I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women, I am just saying that those pussies that they got… you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s not pussy, but it’s Beyond pussy or Impossible pussy. It tastes like pussy, but that’s not quite what it is, is it?”

In his 2019 Netflix special Sticks & Stones, Chappelle declared trans people “hate my f**king guts and I don’t blame them”, adding he “can’t stop writing jokes” about the trans community.

Netflix has come under pressure to remove The Closer, with one writer – Jaclyn Moore for Dear White People – actually leaving her role at the streaming service due to the special.

Netflix’s CEO Ted Sarandos defended the comic however, describing Chappelle’s comedy as “thoughtful”.

He told The New York Times in an interview in May: “Nobody would say that what he does isn’t thoughtful or smart… you just don’t agree with him.”

Sarandos added: “I think it’s very important to the American culture generally to have free expression.

“We’re programming for a lot of diverse people who have different opinions and different tastes and different styles, and yet we’re not making everything for everybody.

“We want something for everybody but everything’s not going to be for everybody.”

More: Dave Chappelle, transphobia

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