By Lori Perkins
I have been tired of Dave Chappelle ever since his 2017 Netflix special where he thought he was so clever by doing a comedy routine where he joked about rape with the punchline to “he rapes, he saves.” Let me be clear here, for me, rape is NEVER a joke or a punchline.
But I digress.
In Chappelle’s most recent Netflix special, he once again (he has done this repeatedly in his recent specials) uses trans and gay people as the butt of his joke in the same clever way he did in his “he rapes, he saves” send-up a few years ago. Because the set-up is smart and detailed, Chappelle thinks he is exceptional and entitled to some sort of pass.
As you might have read, after his Netflix special aired two weeks ago, a number of well-known trans and gay comedians took him to task for repeatedly using their communities as a joke, trying to remind him that trans lives matter and trans people are murdered and commit suicide in greater numbers than other communities. Inside Netflix, one employee leaked financial numbers to the press and was fired after. A number of Netflix employees staged a walk out and asked for a meeting with Chappelle to discuss his take on things, after the CEO doubled down on Chappelle’s right to say what he wants as a freedom issue, citing another Netflix comedian, Hannah Gadsby, an Australian lesbian who brought art history into her routine about respect and sexual assault, as an example of another opinion.
Hannah Gadsby angrily told the CEO to leave her out of this discussion and added that she’s had to deal with hate from Chappele fans as a result of this.
So Chappelle decided to make light of the whole thing, saying he was being “canceled” by everyone but the CEO of Netflix, after a number of venues did indeed cancel scheduled performances. He then said he was willing to meet with Netflix employees under the following conditions: that they all watch the entirety of his special and that they agree that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.
Dave Chappelle was once funny. Now he’s like someone’s drunk uncle at Thanksgiving dinner who just won’t let it go.
He wants to know if he’s “cancelled.” No, he’s an embarrassing has-been and not worth the time.