Dave Chappelle has a message for his critics: “I’m a bad motherf–ker.”
The comedian made the comment Thursday night at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, in response to anger over his latest Netflix special, The Closer. After taking the stage for a screening of his ‘untitled’ documentary, Chappelle addressed critics demanding Netflix pull his stand-up special from the platform.
“If this is what being canceled is about, I love it,” Chappelle said as he received a standing ovation, per The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t know what to tell you, except I’m a bad motherf–ker.
Related Story: Dave Chappelle and Maya Rudolph Win Creative Arts Emmys
The Emmy-winning comic sparked backlash from LGBTQ activists for his remarks about transgender women when The Closer premiered on Oct. 5.
“Gender is a fact. 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 says in the special. The comedian also discusses the gay community as a whole. “I don’t hate gay people, I respect the sh-t out of you — not all of you,” he says. “I’m not that fond of these newer gays — too sensitive, too brittle. I miss the old-school gays.”
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) took issue with the special.
“Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” GLADD said in a statement on Twitter. “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.”
Added David Johns, NBJC executive director, on the group’s website. “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.”
Johns also called for Netflix to stop streaming the special. “Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community,” he said.
As previously reported, The Closer is Chappelle’s last special for the streaming giant, after he previously did The Age Of Spin, Deep In The Heart Of Texas, Equanimity, The Bird Revelation, and Sticks & Stones.
The Closer is currently No. 4 on Netflix’s list of the 10 most popular titles in the U.S.