Dave Chappelle Is Not a Transphobe

Dave Chappelle in Toronto, Canada, September 9, 2018 (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
In The Closer, Chappelle discusses a transgender friend whose own family defends him against charges of insensitivity. Where’s the crime?

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE D ave Chappelle holds a distinction nearly unique among comics: Whenever he drops a special, it’s news. His latest Netflix offering, The Closer, immediately got him accused of “pointless transphobia and homophobia” (The Daily Beast), “Betrayal” (GQ) and “anti-LGBTQ diatribes” (GLAAD).

The Closer is not one of Chappelle’s best efforts — he has done nine of these specials, including six for Netflix, and the new one is probably the least effective among them — but in its compassion it’s the opposite of transphobic. Chappelle exhibits a lot of humanity, a lot of humility, and a lot of self-questioning as he does his

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