Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special, The Closer, has been at the forefront of controversy ever since its October 5th release on Netflix. In his standup set, he called himself a TERF — trans-exclusionary radical feminist — and said other things people have declared hate speech. Here is one such example of what gots viewers angry:
“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. Now, I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women, I am just saying that those pussies that they got… you know what I mean? 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.”
Now some of Netflix’s own employees, some of them now former employees due to their resignation, have taken to the internet to declare their disgust at the platform.
A user named @RainofTerra, who is a Senior Software Engineer for Netflix, discussed her feelings about Netflix allowing The Closer on their platform in a Twitter thread.
“Promoting TERF ideology (which is what we did by giving it a platform yesterday) directly harms trans people, it is not some neutral act. This is not an argument with two sides. It is an argument with trans people who want to be alive and people who don’t want us to be.”
She then went on to list over 38 transgender people — many of whom were Black or people of color — and discussed how rhetoric shared by Dave Chappelle leads towards their deaths.
“38 members of our community who are dead because our society devalues trans people and trans experiences. 38 people who just wanted to be themselves. 38 people who in many cases struggled with not having the means to transition the way they wanted to, but did it anyway.
These are the people that a callous disregard for the lives of trans people by our society have taken from us, and they all deserved better.”
A now ex-showrunner for Netflix, Jaclyn Moore, also took to Twitter saying she “can’t be a part of a company that thinks that’s worth putting out and celebrating.”
“Chappelle was one of my heroes. I was at his comeback show in NYC. But he said he’s a TERF. He compared my existence to someone doing blackface. He talks about someone winning a Woman of the Year award despite never having a period should make women mad and that it makes him mad.
And then he ended his special with a “but I had a trans friend” story. He says we don’t listen. But he’s not listening. Those words have real world consequences. Consequences that every trans woman I know has dealt with. Bruises and panicked phone calls to friends. That’s real.”
There is no word yet from Netflix on if they will remove The Closer from their platform.