OPINION: Dave Chappelle Netflix Special Shouldn’t Be Canceled
I have heard, as well as pretty much anyone who is attached to any sort of pop culture media that the Dave Chappelle Netflix show "Closer" was offensive and that Netflix should pull the show from the streaming service because of what he says about the LGBTQ community and specifically transgender individuals. People have even gone as far as to say that Dave Chappelle is transphobic. Is he?
I had some extra time on my hands over the weekend and I ran across the show as an option on my "trending on Netflix" tab. I figured I would watch and see what all the controversy was about.
I did not have the same reaction as what I have heard other people having.
My take on this show, being an objective person on this subject (meaning I have no skin in this game) is that he (Chappelle) is laying out what is happening in the world today. He sets up scenarios and gives his take on the subject. Could it offend some people? Probably. Is it offensive? That's debatable. I didn't feel as though he was being transphobic. He does mention things that have been happening in the world... like Caitlyn Jenner being named "Woman of the Year" after legally being a woman for a year or less. He felt that was unfair to any other woman, trans or biological. He related it to Eminem being named "black man of the year". He didn't use those words, but that was the idea.
He did talk about not understanding how the treatment of black people can go unnoticed or unchecked, yet if you "hurt a gay person's feelings" the world will attack...and cancel.
These are just things that he has observed and is questioning. It doesn't mean that he hates the LGBTQ community, it simply says why are not all groups of people garnering the same reactions from wrong-doing?
He talks about his transgender friend named Daphne who committed suicide. This was after she defended him about a show he did years ago. Chappelle has been telling transgender jokes for 16 years (his words) and now he's been called out for it. He says he's been an equal opportunity joke teller, no group has been left out, and now he, and every other comedian is being told that they can't tell jokes that they have been telling anymore because of cancel-culture. He talked about how Daphne was dragged on Twitter (not a real place) after coming to his defense. She said, "he isn't punching down, he isn't punching up, he is punching lines..." Now, whether or not she committed suicide because she defended him, he isn't sure. She may have had some other things going on in her life. But the point is, it happened after she came to his defense. The fact that she committed suicide is tragic. But it wasn't because of Chappelle's jokes. He knew her and considered her his friend.
The bottom line is this- not everyone is going to agree with what your beliefs are. Not everyone is going to appreciate a person's comedy. Not everyone is a fan of every comedian. But should he be canceled for it? No. If you don't like a style of comedy, don't listen, don't buy a ticket, don't go. But calling for the cancellation isn't what should be done.
An example- I don't care for certain horror movies. I think they can be detrimental to kids, and some bigger kids or adults. Some of them can be scarring, jarring, and/or give people bad dreams and sleepless nights. Am I calling for cancel-culture to get rid of all horror movies? No. If you don't like it, don't go.
Can a comedian be both offensive and funny at the same time? Yes. Can a comedian do their job and make jokes and not actually feel that way about whatever they are making jokes about? Yes. The idea of comedy is to write and talk about what you know. Will it appeal to everyone? Absolutely not. And that should be ok. Comedy is about relating to things that are going on in the world...and how to show some humor in it. Everyone should be able to laugh at themselves, whatever they have going on. Find the humor, laugh, be a happier person. But be you...whoever you are. That should be ok. If it doesn't make you happy, then don't put yourself in that situation. Don't watch, don't go, don't participate.
And before you form an opinion or judgment, make sure you are forming your OWN opinion and judgment. This is why I watched the show. I wanted to know if it was as offensive as I was hearing it was. I didn't agree that it was... but maybe you will. Just make sure it is YOUR OWN OPINION. Not someone else's who said you should be offended.
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