Of the 130 famous comedians who were announced in the lineup of the Netflix Is a Joke festival, set to take place in Los Angeles next year, Dave Chappelle has taken center stage.
In his October comedy special, The Closer, Chappelle calls himself a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist), allies himself with proud billionaire and transphobe J.K. Rowling, and attempts several “jokes” about trans women’s genitals. It was met with immediate disgust and condemnation.
Chappelle has since been denounced by comedians, actors, celebrities, high schoolers, Netflix employees, and organizations including the National Black Justice Coalition and GLAAD. But while Netflix employees walked out in protest of the company’s sanctioning of hate speech, execs at the streaming giant have only furthered Chappelle’s transphobic platform, adding more Chappelle to their catalog after the widespread backlash.
Netflix will continue to promote the disgraced comedian into next year at the streaming platform’s inaugural in-person comedy festival. The week-long event is described by Netflix as a celebration of “the very best of comedy,” and the 130-person lineup includes big names like Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Conan O’Brien, Pete Davidson, Tina Fey, and many more. Chappelle is placed conspicuously among them.
The lineup includes several transgender and nonbinary comedians, including Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness. Eddie Izzard is set to headline “STAND OUT: An LGBTQ+ Celebration” at the Greek Theatre alongside famed queer comedians Margaret Cho, Sandra Berhnard, Tig Notaro, and Wanda Sykes. It’s unclear at this time if any of the festival’s participants knew Chappelle would be included in the lineup.
Hannah Gadsby, the comedian behind Netflix’s breakout stand-up special Nanette, is noticeably absent. In October, Gadsby slammed the brand’s co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, after he related Gadsby to Chappelle in a memo to staff on the diversity of the service’s catalog. “F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult,” the Australian comedian said in a viral Instagram post. “I do s**ts with more back bone than you. That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because you just told the world there isn’t one.”