Dave Chappelle Mentions Trans People Again in New Netflix Special ‘The Dreamer’: ‘I Ain’t Doing Trans Jokes Anymore’

The comedian's new comedy special addresses the controversy behind his past statements on the trans community. "I love punching down," he said of making jokes about disabled people.

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Dave Chappelle is addressing the trans community once again in his latest Netflix special.

Chapelle’s new standup special, The Dreamer, hit the streaming platform on Sunday and gave fans an introspective look at his multi-decade career in the entertainment industry. 

The 50-year-old entertainer kicked off his special by addressing his past transphobic comments, saying he’s “tired” of talking about the trans community.

“Now if you guys came here to this show tonight thinking that I’m gonna make fun of those people again, you’ve come to the wrong show. I’m not fucking with those people anymore. It wasn’t worth the trouble,” said Chapelle on the new special, per Variety. “I ain’t saying shit about trans people. Maybe three or four times tonight, but that is it. Tired of talking about them.”

He continued, “You wanna know why I’m tired of talking about them? Because these people acted like I needed them to be funny.”

From there, the comedian took an unexpected turn by saying he’s since found a new angle. “I ain’t doing trans jokes anymore. Know what I’mma do tonight? Tonight I’m doing all handicapped jokes,” he quipped.

Chapelle then joked that he was trying to “repair” his relationship with the trans community.

“To be honest with you, I’ve been trying to repair my relationship with the transgender community ‘cause I don’t want them to think that I don’t like them. You know how I’ve been repairing it? I wrote a play. I did. ‘Cause I know gays love plays. It’s a very sad play, but it’s moving. It’s about a Black transgender woman whose pronoun is sadly n****r. It’s a tear-jerker. At the end of the play she dies of loneliness cause white liberals don’t know how to speak to her.”

The comedian also made light of the incarceration of the transgender community when he said that if he ever needed to go to jail, he would prefer to be sent to a women’s prison.

“God forbid I ever go to jail. But if I do, I hope it’s in California. Soon as the judge sentences me, I’ll be like, ‘Before you sentence me, I want the court to know I identify as a woman. Send me to a woman’s jail,’” said Chappelle.

“As soon I get in there, you know what I’mma be doing. ‘Give me your fruit cocktail, bitch, before I knock your motherfucking teeth out. I’m a girl, just like you, bitch. Come here and suck this girl dick I got. Don’t make me explain myself. I’m a girl.'”

This isn’t the first time the comedic provocateur has come under fire. Chappelle found himself in the middle of controversy after making transphobic comments during his 2021 Netflix special, The Closer, where he suggested that trans women would never be real women due to their anatomy.

“I am just saying that those pussies that they got, you know what I mean?” he said at the time. “I’m not saying it’s not pussy, but it’s Beyond Pussy or Impossible Pussy. It tastes like pussy, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood. That’s beet juice.”

Chappelle also defended Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, who is often referred to as a TERF, or a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” 

“They canceled J.K. Rowling. My God … Effectually she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as shit, they started calling her a TERF… I’m Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”

Chapelle’s commentary in 2021 inspired a wide range of responses. 

The National Black Justice Coalition urged Netflix to remove the special from its platform. “It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform,” said NBJC executive director David Johns via statement to Deadline.

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos doubled down in defense of the comedian via a company-wide email that stated “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” 

Trans employees and advocates staged a walkout from the streamer shortly after the email, with Chapelle himself saying he would be willing to engage in dialogue with the protestors. 

Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and Caitlyn Jenner were among the celebrities who came to Chapelle’s defense.

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