Following criticism against his October-released Netflix special The Closer, Dave Chappelle had more to say about so-called “canceled” life at a screening event for his untitled documentary, where he also delivered comments and jokes that have since been called out as transphobic.
“Week four of being canceled, it’s crazy,” Chappelle told attendees of the Madison Square Garden event, according to an extended report from the Daily Beast. Notably, attendees were required to place their phones in Yondr pouches. From there, Chappelle is said to have recounted being given a pistol by his wife as a gift, at which point Chappelle joked that the final thing a person would say to him before he used the gun would be “f****t.” In this hypothetical scenario, Chappelle is said to have added, he would state he identified as a woman should the possibility of imprisonment arise.
According to the report, this bit was delivered amid a story about a racist neighbor against whom the comedian filed a protection order. Chappelle, per the report, also offered to provide funds to the man for therapy or similar services, though he noted that any subsequent payment in connection with this offer would have to be kept under wraps. Otherwise, Chappelle is reported to have told the crowd, people would start showing up at his residence in pursuit of their own medical assistance. At some point, Chappelle is also said to have joked that trans people would then be requesting that he pay for surgeries.
Pointed out in the Beast report is that audio of a recent Ohio performance reveals that Chappelle has told the racist neighbor story before, albeit—at least in the case of the Ohio version—without as much of the transphobia-aligned material.
Chappelle’s multi-city tour in support of the documentary, which premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, has also included stops in Atlanta and Cleveland. During the Atlanta stop, T-Pain and Usher reunited on stage, effectively bringing to an end any assumption that an Auto-Tune disagreement between the two had persisted.
In the aforementioned Closer, Chappelle explicitly stated that he was “team TERF,” meaning he considers himself a trans-exclusionary feminist. “I am a feminist, that’s right,” he said in the special when speaking on writer J.K. Rowling’s own transphobia controversy. “I’m team TERF. I agree, I agree man. Gender is a fact.”
These comments (and more like them from Chappelle) spurred widespread criticism and protests against the comedian and Netflix, including from within the company. On Monday, Terra Field—who had previously been suspended and reinstated—announced her resignation from Netflix. “I’m not happy that this is how things turned out, but I do think this outcome is the best for all parties involved,” Field said.
Meanwhile, per NBC News, Field and former colleague B. Pagels-Minor have withdrawn an unfair labor practice charge they previously made against the streamer.