Dave Chappelle and controversy go hand in hand

Dave Chappelle on stage during “The Closer.” Photo courtesy: Los Angeles Times

Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special, “The Closer,” is true to form for the comedian: blunt, brash, controversial and subtly comical all at the same time.

In his “last special for a minute,” the comedian used his witty storytelling to address real-life issues and conversations that, to me, wasn’t his best work, but it made me laugh here and there.

However, Chappelle’s sense of humor always comes with a price to pay.

Over the course of his career, Chappelle has always joked about all people and all situations with no filter. “The Closer” was no different.

It wasn’t long after the special was released that tensions arose concerning the contentious subjects that Chappelle touched on.

His most infamous battles throughout his career have been with members of the LGBTQ+ community, and he finally addressed it during the show.

In a portion of the show focused on his trials with the LGBTQ+ community, Chappelle used rapper DaBaby’s career and fairly recent cancellation to assert that in America, a Black man can be killed, but if the feelings of the LGBTQ+ community get hurt, then there’s an uproar.

This correlation may have been his most controversial to date.

The National Black Justice Coalition called for the special to be removed from Netflix immediately after its release.

NBJC executive director David Johns said in a statement, “It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform. 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. Netflix should immediately pull ‘The Closer’ from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”

This wasn’t the only push back Chappelle’s special received. GLAAD, a non-governmental media monitoring organization, also ridiculed the comedian for his rather tasteless comments about members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” GLAAD tweeted. “Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don’t support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree.”

While I was not offended by Chappelle’s comments, I don’t agree with his sentiments, and I also found myself being a bit shocked that Netflix would put this special on its platform — especially in the always aware and sensitive culture we are in today.

With this being the Grammy award winner’s last comedy special for a while, he made sure to leave as big a footprint on the comedy realm as he possibly could. “The Closer” will be a topic of discussion for fans and opposers for a long time to come.