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Immediately after its release on Tuesday, The Closer began receiving backlash over a series of anti-trans comments from the 48-year-old comedian. At one point during the gig, Chappelle declares himself a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) and expresses support for J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author who claimed trans women posed a threat to those who were assigned female at birth.
“It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform,” NBJC executive director David Johns said in a statement to Deadline. “With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence. Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”
GLAAD also weighed in on the controversy Wednesday, praising both critics and viewers who have publicly slammed Chappelle’s comments.