By now, conservatives who have been paying attention know the drill: Once the leftist horde latches on to someone who has crossed their imaginary line of WrongThink and demands fealty, and that person shows even an inch of weakness or issues an apology, they’re finished. And whatever their politics, many comedians and other entertainers who play the Hollywood game know — deep down — that’s what will happen, whether they’re willing to say it out loud or not.
But some of them stand their ground and don’t cede an inch. We recently lost one such figure, the great Norm Macdonald, whom I wrote about recently. But there’s also someone who’s still very much alive and in the faces of those who try to silence any voice that counters the radical left narrative of the hour — Dave Chappelle.
As my colleague Brandon Morse wrote about the hard-left’s initial furor over Chappelle’s daring to double-down in a new comedy special, “The Closer,” which just was released by Netflix:
Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special “The Closer” had a few shots taken at the trans community, and needless to say, they aren’t happy.
In one segment, Chappelle says he doesn’t have a problem with transgender people but does think J.K. Rowling was mistreated for her stance on transgenderism, saying that he too is a “TERF” or a “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.”
To be a TERF means to be a part of the feminist movement but to exclude men who claim they’re women from the quest for women’s equality. Moreover, Chappelle said that gender is a “fact.”
Brandon’s description of the transgender activists being “not happy” with the comedian is an understatement, of course. When the woke mob pounces, it goes all in. According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), several activist groups, like GLAAD, have turned it to 11. One group, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) even sent screeds of displeasure to the streamer — trying to get his special removed from the platform.
In the few days since The Closer was released, Chappelle has received condemnation from the NBJC, which called for the special to be pulled from the streamer. “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,” NBJC executive director David Johns said in a statement released to media. “Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence. Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”
But has Chappelle crumbled in the tsunami of attacks on him? No, he has not. Not even an inch. In a live concert at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl on Thursday night, the first one since the woke attack, he addressed the issue of cancel culture, and the attempt to take him and comedy as a whole down, head-on.
Warning: contains coarse language
“If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” the 48-year-old said in response to a standing ovation. The line, and many more like it, was greeted by rapturous applause from the crowd, which included a masked Brad Pitt, Tiffany Haddish, Donnell Rawlings, Chuck Lorre, Sterling K. Brown and others. At another point, he was more blunt: “F*ck Twitter. F*ck NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to you. This is real life.”
Before Dave Chappelle took to the mic, the evening opened with fellow comedian Jeff Ross, then the audience was shown a new documentary, “Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary,” about “last year’s ‘Summer Camp’ series,” which involved Chappelle and, as THR called them, “his circle of famous friends” putting on over 50 shows in Yellow Springs, Ohio, the rural/college town where Chappelle still lives. I think it says a lot about where his head is, that he doesn’t live anywhere close to Tinseltown.
Anyway, the actor and comedian went on to refer to the film, and what’s really important to him (and should be to everyone), later in his speech;
For his part, Chappelle delivered an earnest moment when he doubled down on themes so prominently displayed in the doc. “Do something nice for someone who looks nothing like you,” he said during the event, which wrapped at 11 p.m. with a fireworks display. “We have to trust one another.”
Whatever your political positions might be privately, does it really matter, when that’s where your heart is for the whole world to see?