How does it feel when your hero turns out to be something they really aren’t? Your guts churn in anger and disbelief. But after a while, you swallow the bitter pill and move on.
The same happened with Jaclyn Moore, who really liked the genius comedian, Dave Chappelle, calling him one of her “comic heroes.”
“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.”
Ex-showrunner and writer for “Dear White People,” Jaclyn spoke about Chappelle,
“His shadow is huge! He’s a brilliant goofy comedian, he’s brilliant as a political comedian. He has been brilliant for so so long, but I also don’t think because you’ve been brilliant means that you’re always brilliant.”
On Wednesday night, Jaclyn announced on Twitter and Instagram about her decision to not work with the streaming giant Netflix. The statement came in after she watched Chappelle’s most recent stand-up special, “The Closer,” that started on Netflix this Tuesday.
So, what upset Jaclyn so much that she openly stated about not working with Netflix anymore? It was the numerous jokes about trans women.
During the pandemic, Jaclyn transitioned and openly stated about it on social media platforms.
“After the Chappelle special, I can’t do this anymore. I won’t work for @netflix again as long as they keep promoting and profiting from dangerous transphobic content,” she wrote on Instagram.
She also Tweeted,
“I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix. Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art….But I’ve been thrown against walls because “I’m not a “real woman.” I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @netflix, I’m done.”
I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix. Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art… But I’ve been thrown against walls because, “I’m not a ‘real’ woman.” I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @Netflix, I’m done. https://t.co/2naqrzW0G2
— Jaclyn Moore (@JaclynPMoore) October 7, 2021
Due to Dave’s “blatantly and dangerously” transphobic remarks, Jaclyn resigned online on a thread to Netflix.
Jaclyn is currently working on the reboot of “Queer As Folk” on Peacock. Further speaking about her decision, she stated that she never appreciated Dave’s trans material, but this time it was way too much. She said for the first time it felt like,
“Oh, people are laughing at this joke, and they’re agreeing that it’s absurd to call me a woman.’ The fact is that’s the exact rhetoric and language that is used against us. I have had beer bottles thrown at me. I have been thrown against a wall for using a women’s bathroom. I would just say it’s ironic that for somebody who famously walked away from a TV show because he felt like the messages of the joke got lost, he doesn’t see what the messages of these jokes do to people. He talks about our feelings being hurt. They saw this and were like, “Yeah this seems okay to put out there.” The truth is it’s not. It’s dangerous and it has real-world physical violence repercussions. People like to say, “Oh, it’s just a joke.”
Upon being questioned, how did this go through Netflix, as the streaming service is popular for creating opportunities for the marginalized. She answered that it was also a shock for her that it got approved. She told as she has worked on a show on Netflix, she knows that the company considers and thinks about such issues and tries not to hurt any segment of the society. She added,
“I think probably part of it is that Chappelle has carte blanche to say whatever he wants, and I think that’s great. I do believe in freedom of speech. I really do. But I have the freedom of speech to say that somebody’s speech bothers me, and I don’t want to work with a company that promotes that speech. It’s dangerous. It’s dangerous language. I can’t say it any clearer.”
Jaclyn was asked if she would want Dave’s specials to be pulled out of Netflix, to which she replied,
“I don’t think that’s the answer. I don’t think that’s a reasonable outcome here. I don’t think this material and a lot of his trans material has a place in discourse. I think a lot of his trans material that maybe I personally had given a pass before feels a lot worse in context of this material. Any benefit of the doubt that was given feels like it is gone. But what I really want is I want companies to hire trans people to work there who can say, “Hey, we sure about this?”
She was also asked if Netflix contacted her after her Tweet from last night? She responded to this by telling; she indeed did have a very nice conversation with someone who is a stand-up person who wanted to talk to hear her side of the story and her point of view. However, she doesn’t expect anything to change after the conversation.
“The fact of the matter is there are very rarely trans people in those rooms and yet we are so often the subject of the derision. We’re very rarely in any decision-making positions. And I think that’s my bigger concern. I don’t know what Netflix should do, but I feel something needs to be done. Whether that’s removing part of this special, whether that’s amending the special in some way, I don’t know. To be honest, it’s not my job to fix their problem, but I do think they have a problem.”
Jaclyn was also questioned if she was in talks with Netflix for any of her new projects. She responded, she is currently involved in developing stuff, and there is often discussion about where it is going to be pitched? However, she said that she was determined not to take any of her work to Netflix, at least for the time being.
Also, in rebuke of Netflix’s collaboration with the self-proclaimed TERF, software engineer Field tweeted a grim and long list of trans people who were “not offended” by Chappelle’s comments — because they died in transphobic attacks before “The Closer” was released.
“I work at @netflix. Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness — all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about ‘offense’. We are not offended. What we object to is the harm that content like this does to the trans community (especially trans people of color) and VERY specifically Black trans women.”
I work at @netflix. Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about “offense”.
We are not offended 🧵
— 🎃 Terra Fied 👻 (@RainofTerra) October 7, 2021
GLAAD, a watchdog organization that advocates for authentic LGBTQ+ representation in entertainment, also put out a statement Wednesday denouncing Chappelle’s Netflix set.
“Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” the statement read.
“Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don’t support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree.”