Damon Wayans is looking at Dave Chappelle like a God right now. The comedian not only came to Chappelle’s defense in regards to the hate he is receiving for the alleged transphobic jokes made in his new Netflix special The Closer.
The 61-year-old was stopped at LAX and asked his thoughts about the special as well. He praised Chappelle for giving fellow comedians their voice back. “I feel like Dave freed the slaves. The comedians, they were slaves to PC culture and he just, you know, as an artist, he’s van Gogh, cut his ear off. He’s trying to tell us it’s okay.”
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In Case You Missed It
Chappelle’s jokes covered a transgendered friend of his who he unexpectedly connected with and some jokes essentially about transgendered people not being able to do it all. “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 quipped.
“I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women, I am just saying that those p*ssies that they got… you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s not p*ssy, but it’s Beyond P*ssy or Impossible P*ssy. It tastes like p*ssy, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood, that’s beet juice.”
The joke got the laughs, along with many others from the special but the transgendered community felt attacked and spoke out about it, including Netflix staff, one of whom quit her job on social media earlier this month.
Netflix Backed Dave
Since the incident, Netflix has had Chappelle’s back. “Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him… Stand-up comedy exists to push boundaries,” said Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of Neflix. He is also in charge of content which is why he can be so opinionated on the matter.
He went on to say, “Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”
Unfortunately, for Sarandos, some of the employees at Netflix did not agree and stormed a private meeting to express their upset. At least 2 of the employees identified as transgendered. Netflix has allegedly suspended some employees who are now claiming is due to the Chapelle special.
The streaming service has maintained that this employee was actually suspended before this incident and for a completely unrelated reason.
Not Afraid To Lose
Wayans maintains that Chapelle’s move is a form of bravery and it may encourage other comedians to start telling the jokes they really want to tell. “I just think he’s saying ‘Hey you know what, with all that I have, I’m not afraid to lose it for the sake of freedom of speech. You can’t edit yourself.’ Mercedes makes a great car, but they gotta crash a lot of them before they perfect it.”
He also shared that a bigger conversation can now take place. “There’s a bigger conversation we need to have. Somebody needs to look us in the eye and go ‘You’re no longer free in this country. You’re not free to say what you want–you say what we want you to say, otherwise, we will cancel you.’ That’s the discussion we should have.”