Transgender comedian BACKS Dave Chappelle after controversial special
Transgender comedian BACKS Dave Chappelle and says trans stand-ups can’t focus their acts on their transition then complain when others joke about the issue too
- Comedian Flame Monroe supported Dave Chappell in a recent interview
- The trans performer from Chicago said ‘It’s only a joke. Nobody lost their life’
- However, other trans comedians are condemning Chapelle’s Netflix special
- He drew strong backlash for jokes in his act targeting trans people
- A rally at Netflix’s headquarters in LA drew nearly 100 people on Wednesday
- There were about 30 workers at the streaming giant that joined in afterward
A transgender comedian has expressed support for Dave Chapelle after his jokes targeting trans people in a new Netflix special drew strong backlash.
Flame Monroe, a stand-up from Chicago, told CNN that she ‘absolutely [does] believe that you should be able to make jokes about trans folks’ in an interview published on Sunday.
Chappelle and Netflix drew harsh criticism over his new special, The Closer, in which he crudely compared the genitals of trans women to plant-based meat alternatives and declared that he was ‘team TERF,’ a reference to feminists who reject the identity of trans women.
While many trans comedians have spoken out to condemn Chappelle, equating his remarks to hate speech and violence, Monroe had a different take, arguing that his act was funny and that trans people should be willing to be the butt of a joke.
‘As a trans person and a comedian, we mostly crack jokes about who we are and how we identify in my experience, and I’m only speaking for me,’ she told CNN.
‘You can’t ask for inclusion 24/7 and then conveniently want to be excluded because some truths are being told in a comedic fashion about your community.’
Flame Monroe, a stand-up from Chicago, said that she ‘absolutely [does] believe that you should be able to make jokes about trans folks’
Chappelle and Netflix drew harsh criticism over his new special, The Closer, in which he crudely compared the genitals of trans women to plant-based meat alternatives
Monroe, who is one of the few trans comedians to be featured in a Netflix special, as part of Tiffany Haddish’s They Ready series, also spoke to CNN in an on-air interview last week.
‘It made me scream out loud laughing,’ she said of Chappelle’s act. ‘Because I’m a comedian, I’m a human, and I know who Dave Chappelle is and what Dave Chappelle is. He’s a comedian.’
Monroe said that even if some of the remarks did make her gasp, ‘when it’s the truth, and it’s funny, it’s just humor. It’s laughter, we keep missing that.’
‘We have to be able to take, as grown people, and stop being so sensitized in this world. It’s only a joke. Nobody lost their lives.’
However, other trans comedians have also voiced their strong concerns about Chappelle’s act.
‘I know [Chappelle] says he wasn’t punching down — he’s absolutely punching down,’ trans stand-up Jaye McBride told CNN. ‘When you’re just taking this mean position against a minority, no matter who the minority is or who you are, it just comes off as wrong.’
Monroe, who is one of the few trans comedians to be featured in a Netflix special, as part of Tiffany Haddish’s They Ready series, also spoke to CNN in an on-air interview last week
‘Given Chappelle’s undeniable cultural impact, his insistence on my erasure is deeply painful and feels like a betrayal,’ Mx. Dahlia Belle told the outlet.
On Wednesday, Netflix employees who walked out in protest of Chappelle’s special, and were joined by allies who chanted ‘Trans lives matter.’
Joey Soloway, creator of the groundbreaking Emmy-winning comedy ‘Transparent,’ was among the speakers at the rally.
Chappelle’s decision to share ‘his outrage as comedic humiliation in front of thousands of people, and then broadcasting it to hundreds of millions of people is infinitely amplified gender violence,’ they said.
‘I want trans representation on the Netflix board, this (expletive) week,’ the writer-director said, according to the AP.
People attend a rally in support of the Netflix transgender employee walkout ‘Stand Up in Solidarity’ to protest the streaming of comedian Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special
Dave Briggs holds a placard as he attends a rally in support of the Netflix transgender employee walkout ‘Stand Up in Solidarity’ to protest the Dave Chappelle special
Terra Field, who identifies herself on Twitter as a senior software engineer at Netflix and as trans, posted tweets critical of Chappelle´s special immediately after it aired and the comments were widely shared.
In her posts, Field said the comic was being criticized not because his remarks are offensive but for the harm they do to the trans community, especially black trans women.
Field included a list of trans and nonbinary men and women of color who she said had been killed, adding in each case that the victim ‘is not offended.’
At Wednesday’s protest, a small group of counter-protesters attended, carrying placards reading ‘Free speech is a right’ and ‘Truth is not transphobic.’
Belissa Cohen, a former journalist, said she was on hand to ‘support Netflix’s decision not to pull’ the special.
‘We want to show that there isn’t unanimous support about transgender ideology when it comes to Netflix viewers,’ Cohen said.
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