It would be extremely easy for me to write a hit piece dismissing Dave Chappelle’s latest and final Netflix special The Closer as unforgivably transphobic. That surely a veteran comic like Chappelle could have chosen other equally marginalized groups to offend such as Blacks beating up Asians, or “Space Jews”, or angry, violent lesbians, or feminists, or TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and tiki torch whites. And I could simply write that Chappelle has finally aged out of stand-up after securing his multimillion dollar Netflix bag and, therefore, he’s too rich to care about who he offends.
But, if I were to do so–if I were to join Dave Chappelle’s many Twitter anti-fans, critics, and LGBTQ representative organizations in demanding that Netflix remove The Closer from the streaming giant’s platform I would have to honestly believe that Dave Chappelle is an unapologetic transphobe, a TERF who truly hates trans people. I would have to believe that Dave Chappelle simply crafted his jokes for The Closer with the malicious intent of causing more hurt and violence to the trans community. Violence that is mostly inflicted upon Black trans women. That joking about trans women in any way, shape, or form dehumanizes them and places their lives in great danger. Because a joke about trans women’s genitalia TASTING differently is not only unfunny but a matter of life and death.
I would have to disregard any nuance Dave Chappelle’s jokes may have had along with any larger points he was trying to make during his set. I would have to ignore the fact that Chappelle’s gratuitous use of the n-word continues to get a lot of laughs. That it’s not possible for comedy in the hands of a Black man to be multi-layered and thought provoking. Nor is Chappelle capable of using comedy to ask very uncomfortable questions concerning hot button issues. That Dave Chappelle was not actually making fun of transphobes, and TERFs by posing as one because his fans are probably low IQ degenerates who will laugh at anything. And anybody who laughs at Chappelle’s jokes must be transphobic too.
But, most of all, I would also have to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that Dave Chappelle absolutely hates Daphne Dorman–an ardent fan, a white trans woman whom he befriended and chose to dedicate the last ten minutes of his special to. And even though I was moved and somewhat teary-eyed I must believe that deep down Chappelle really doesn’t care that Dorman killed herself. Besides, it would make more sense that he simply saw an opportunity to shamelessly use her suicide to defend himself against critics who have called him on his transphobia. Which is why I’m not going to write another hit-piece about Dave Chappelle’s The Closer because that would be too easy to do.