Dave Chappelle hosts SNL Tonight. Here is a timeline of the controversies surrounding his transgender jokes | CNN


Tonight Dave Chappelle will be hosting “Saturday Night Live” for the third time – an appearance that sparked controversy before he even took to the stage.

The comedian has sparked growing outrage in recent years for making transgender jokes, and the outrage grew last fall when Netflix released Chappelle’s special “The Closer” in which he doubled down on his comments.

Netflix has sided with Chappelle, who went on a national tour after the special and largely ignored the controversy after taking on his work.

But his comments have been criticized by fellow comedians, fans, trans advocates and some Netflix employees, and a venue in Minnesota canceled a show for Chappelle this year due to the controversy.

Given this context, it was A surprise for some viewers of “SNL” To see him he was invited back to Studio 8H. Here’s a look at Chappelle’s recent history of jokes about transgender people — and the resulting backlash.

August: In a series of stand-up shows in New York City Vulture reported that Chappelle gave transgender jokes for at least 20 minutes at Radio City Music Hall. Vulture said he made candid jokes about transgender people’s bodies and referred to transgender people as “transgender,” among other comments.

These weren’t the first jokes Chappelle made at the expense of trans people. But he delivered them in New York after that Draw some backlash to previous comments.

Nisr wrote of Chappelle’s joke about ISIS fighters terrified of transgender soldiers: “This joke and others in this section have the same problems as those from his own shows – they are rooted in disgust and generalization.” “They are not good.”

August 26: Netflix released a stand-up special, “Sticks and Stones,” in which Chappelle performed more material about transgender people, including some content from his shows on Radio City. In a special epilogue, he raised his friend Daphne Dorman, a trans comedian, who said he laughed so hard at his jokes about transgender people.

October 5: Netflix has released Chappelle’s special The Closer. In it, he talks about transgender people and makes many jokes at their expense. He mistook the trans comedian, once again making candid jokes about trans women’s bodies and championing TERFs, or trans feminists for exclusion.

He also referred to transgender people as “transgender”, stated that “sex is a fact”, and later said that Dorman had committed suicide shortly after being criticized by other transgender people for defending Chappelle after “sticks and stones”.

By the time Chappelle’s special was released, at least 33 states had introduced anti-transgender legislation, most of it targeting transgender youth.

October 13: Amid calls from LGBTQ advocates, fellow comedians, Netflix staff and social justice organizations to withdraw the special, Netflix has sided with Chappelle.

In a letter obtained by Verge and Variety, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos told employees that the special will still be available to stream.

“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hatred or violence, and we don’t think ‘The Closer’ crosses that line…Some people find endowment art a spirited style but our members enjoy, and it’s an important part of our content offering” Sarandos Books.

Netflix suspended three employees for attending a virtual meeting of managers to discuss the private matter without notifying the meeting organizer in advance. Among them was Terra Field, a senior software engineer who is openly critical of Special and Netflix. Her comment was later reversed.

October 19: Sarandos told Variety that he had “spoiled” his communications with Netflix employees, but reiterated that he did not believe the private description was “hate speech.”

October 20: About 65 protesters, including Netflix employees and trans advocates, went on strike to protest Netflix’s support of “The Closer.” Demonstrators called on Netflix to hire more trans and non-binary CEOs and fund more trans and non-binary talent.

October 24: Three passing cartoon characters told CNN they were disappointed with Chappelle’s jokes, though all three said they once considered the famous performer an inspiration for the comedy. While they all agreed that jokes about transgender people are not inherently offensive, they said Chappelle’s group is filled with the same hateful rhetoric and language that critics use against transgender people.

“When he talks about the trans community, he’s not talking about them, he’s talking against them,” comedian Nat Pugh told CNN. “And that’s the difference between saying something funny about the trans community and saying something offensive about the trans community.”

The fourth comedian, Flame Monroe, one of the only trans comics to stream material on Netflix, told CNN she believed Chappelle should be allowed to joke about transgender people, although she was initially surprised by some of his comments.

October 25: Chappelle addressed critics at a show in Nashville, and appeared alongside Joe Rogan, the podcast host who has been criticized for his dismissal of the efficacy of vaccines and his use of racial slurs, among other controversies.

Chappelle released videos on his official Instagram account from the group, in which he appears to have addressed the transgender employees of Netflix who took part in the strike on “The Closer.”

“It seems like I’m the only one who can’t go to the office anymore,” he said.

“I want everyone in this audience to know that although the media frames it as if it’s me against that community, that’s not what it is,” Chappelle added. “Don’t blame the LBGTQ community (sic) for any of these things—. This has nothing to do with them. It’s about the interests of the company and what I can and can’t say.”

“For the record—and I want you to know this—everyone I know from this community has been anything but loving and supportive. So I don’t know what all this bullshit is.”

July 12: “The Closer” was nominated for two Emmys, including “Special Distinguished Collection (Pre-recorded)”. Adele later won the category.

July 21: A venue in Minneapolis has canceled Chappelle’s show that sold out hours before it opened, apologizing to “staff, artists and our community” after receiving criticism for hosting Chappelle.

“We believe in diverse voices and freedom of artistic expression, but by paying homage to that, we’ve lost track of it,” wrote First Avenue, the setting best known for its appearance in Prince’s movie ‘Purple Rain’.

November 5: “Saturday Night Live” announce Chappelle will be his host for the post-midterm elections. The backlash I was fast.

area joked on twitter: “Wait I thought I abolished (sic) him. Is it possible to abolish culture not a real thing?? ”

November 10: After the New York Post reported that several SNL writers boycotted Saturday’s episode, Chappelle’s representatives told CNN that there were no issues with the writers or cast members. The current cast of “SNL” includes non-binary cast member Molly Kearney and non-binary writer Celeste Yim.

Chappelle will take the stage live on Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET.

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