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Dave Chappelle Will Host And Executive Produce Four New Netflix


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The decision comes after the comedian was criticized for espousing anti-trans views.

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“I’ve been doing this a long time and comedians like Quake and Donnell are not only friends but have inspired my own career,” Chappelle said in a statement. “Anyone in the comedy community knows these names and knows their time to shine is long overdue. I am proud to be a part of this moment.”

The upcoming specials — which will be hosted and executive produced by the controversial comedian — are packaged as a series dubbed Chappelle’s Home Team. Each will spotlight a different comic.

Lester Cohen / WireImage / Getty Images

Many sarcastic jokes and observations to be made about how Netflix is still on Chappelle’s home team.

The first — which will air Feb. 28 — will feature Earthquake, who dubs himself “the comedian’s favorite comedian.” Another will highlight Donnell Rawlings, who has previously been on Chappelle’s Show and Joe Rogan‘s podcast.

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Details on the last two specials have yet to be announced, but each special boasts a comedian who has three decades under their belt.

Back in October, the 48-year-old came under fire for including a lengthy anti-trans segment in his Netflix special The Closer. He also proclaimed himself “team TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist)” in support of J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans remarks and boasted of attacking lesbians.

Mathieu Bitton/Netflix

In response, GLAAD wrote that the comic’s brand has “become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. 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.” 

The executive director for the National Black Justice Coalition also called for the special to be removed, writing, “It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform. 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.”

Notably, Netflix decided to suspend (and later reinstate) three employees in relation to the matter (claiming they attended a meeting only meant for high-level executives), including one who is trans. The streamer also fired a pregnant Black trans person who organized an employee walkout protest for supposedly leaking data about the special to the press.

Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

Amid all of this, Netflix’s CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in a (fairly pathetic) internal staff memo that the company has “a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” He later walked that back after receiving harsh criticism, saying he “screwed up.”

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Later, Chappelle said he would be “more than willing” to discuss his special with the trans community but maintained he would not be “bending to anybody’s demands.” He added that Sarandos is the “only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”

Michael Kovac / Getty Images for Netflix

Netflix reportedly paid $24.1 million for the stand-up special, and at the time, it was billed as the last installment of a six-special series. The comedian will soon be headlining Netflix’s Los Angeles–based comedy festival, “Netflix is a Joke”, April 28.

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