“The Closer,” by Dave Chappelle, has been accused of transphobia by the LGBTQ+ community. Now that the trans community is protesting against it, it has been reported that Netflix is thinking to add a content warning before Dave Chappelle’s latest special, The Closer. Dave had a quite successful and popular sketch show on Comedy Central prior to touring as a stand-up comedian.
In 2016, Dave signed a deal with Netflix to produce six comedy specials bagging in $20 million per show. The first two shows to air were The Age of Spin and Deep in the Heart of Texas, followed by Equanimity and The Bird Revelation; both the shows received severe backlash due to their comments and jokes on the trans community.
Even back in 2019, Dave targeted the trans community in his jokes; for example, he called the LGBTQ+ community “the alphabet people” in a special, Sticks & Stones. This time though, many viewers feel that Dave has crossed the limits in his show “The Closer” and that it is very transphobic.
— Wave Nigeria (@wavenigeria247) October 22, 2021
It has created a lot of controversies ever since its release earlier this month. The trans community and its supporters have protested against the special; protesters also included Netflix employees who were trans. The protesters brought upon a long list of demands to CEO Ted Sarandos; however, it seems like at least one demand is going to be met.
As per a report from The Wrap, Netflix has decided to consider adding a content warning ahead of the show. However, the source does not specify what the content warning would be, but the protestors have asked to add, “disclaimer before The Closer specifically saying it contains transphobic language, misogyny, homophobia, and hate speech.”
If Netflix does consider this demand, it would mean the same would have to be done for other Netflix bawdy comedians such as Ricky Gervais, Bill Burr, and Joe Rogan. The aforementioned comedians have also landed in controversy with their risqué comedy.
Watching Dave Chapelle’s The Closer and laugh every time the camera pans across these two women. They just taking up space looking all mad while everyone around them laughing. Smh. It’s just jokes. #TheCloser pic.twitter.com/95bv3J05TL
— Tyler McNabb (@tyler_mac27) October 22, 2021
Adding a disclaimer is nothing new for Netflix though; however, it’s been limited to only shows that depict “suicide, nudity, sex & sexual violence, and violence” mainly. If the report from The Wrap has any truth in it, it may showcase that Netflix’s CEO, Ted Sarandos has to change his stance as he truly believes that The Closer does not qualify as hate speech. Those who took part in the Netflix walkout clearly disagree with Sarandos’s stance. Adding a disclaimer may calm down angry protestors while maintaining Netflix’s commitment to creative freedom.