The family of a transgender women who was mentioned by comedian Dave Chappelle in his controversial Netflix special have defended the funnyman.
The 48-year-old came under fire last week over jokes made in The Closer, however the relatives of Daphne Dorman has spoken out to call the star an ‘LGBTQ ally’.
In the special, Chappelle defended JK Rowling’s comments about transgender people. claimed he was part of ‘team TERF’ (the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist) and said: ‘Gender is a fact.’
In a text message to the Daily Beast, Dorman’s sister Becky wrote: ‘Daphne was in awe of Dave’s graciousness. She did not find his jokes rude, crude, off-colouring, off-putting, anything.
‘She thought his jokes were funny. Daphne understood humour and comedy – she was not offended. Why would her family be offended?’
‘Dave loved my sister and is an LGBTQ ally,’ Dorman’s younger sister Brandy added in the message. ‘His entire set was begging to end this very situation.’
Chappelle used his sixth Netflix special, which was recorded in August this year, to provide context for the jokes he made in his previous specials.
Addressing transphobic jokes he has made in the past, he said: ‘Any of you who have ever watched me know that I have never had a problem with transgender people. If you listen to what I’m saying, clearly, my problem has always been with white people.’
Proclaiming himself as ‘team TERF’ while defending Harry Potter author Rowling, who previously claimed that trans people erase the concept of sex and same-sex attraction, Chappelle said: ‘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 p***ies that they got… you know what I mean?
‘I’m not saying it’s not p***y, but it’s Beyond P***y or Impossible P***y. It tastes like p***y, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? That’s not blood. That’s beet juice.’
The comic then defended his jokes by saying that trans comedian Dorman, who he shouted out on one of his specials months before she took her own life, loved his punchlines.
He said that he wouldn’t be doing any more LGBT+ jokes until ‘we are both sure that we are laughing together. I’m telling you, it’s done. I’m done talking about it. All I ask of your community, with all humility: Will you please stop punching down on my people.’
Since its release, there have been calls for the special to be removed from Netflix, with Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn Moore, who transitioned during the pandemic, boycotting the platform.
She tweeted: ‘I told the story of my transition for @netflix and @most’s Pride week. It’s a network that’s been my home on @DearWhitePeople. I’ve loved working there.
‘I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.’
GLAAD hit out at Chappelle’s pattern of derogatory jokes towards the LGBTQ+ community, saying his ‘brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities’.
The National Black Justice Coalition also called for the special to be removed, with executive director David Johns saying: ‘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 apologise to the transgender community.’
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