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‘Is this a special or a speech?’: Damon Wayans Criticizes Dave Chappelle For His Excessive Preaching, Says Netflix is Giving Him Specials Because He’s Famous

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Stand-up comedian and media personality, Dave Chappelle came under the fire for his targeted anti-trans jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer” and refused to acknowledge the outrage and feedback from the community as he calls those who criticized him the “instruments of oppression.”

Dave Chappelle's SNL appearance censored
Dave Chappelle’s SNL appearance gets censored by WRAL

Also read: “We Won’t Take The Bait This Time”: Trans Community Reveal Plans To Protest Against Dave Chappelle’s Emmy Nomination, Say They Never Wanted To Cancel Him

As the backlash increases and the trans community grows increasingly frustrated with the backward stance of Netflix for enabling Chappelle’s performance, the comedian drops another special in the aftermath of the outrage on the streaming platform and calls it “What’s In a Name?”

Related article: ‘What’s In a Name?’: Netflix Releases Controversial Dave Chappelle Video Where He Bashes Transphobia Critics, Fans Say ‘Netflix Will Do Anything For Views’

Dave Chappelle: The Closer: A Transphobic Netflix Special

In 2021, amid the pandemic reigning anarchy descending over the world, the field of comedy culture that was supposed to be a haven from the constant flashes of death, wildfires, bombings, and deluges, took a backseat on 5 October when the respected artist, the American stand-up comedian, Dave Chappelle took to the stage for 72 minutes to get “a few things off his chest”.

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle reclaims the stage as he is appointed ‘The Opener’ for John Mulaney show

Also read: Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarantos Defends Dave Chappelle, Calls Him ‘Comedian of our Generation’

The kind of unburdening that followed in the hour-long special was not something that would be appreciated in the aftermath. The Netflix “special” was witnessed by millions who were not only offended but angered by the casual binary outlook of a person who had the platform to educate and inspire. Instead, Netflix awarded Dave Chappelle merely 9 months later with another special.

In the meantime, his previous special which has already spent its entire time under the microscopic vitriol of activists and the LGBTQIA community has now been nominated for an Emmy.

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle trudges on as defendant of his artistic overtone in “The Closer” segment

Also read: Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle Hosting Joint Stand-Up Show in London, Fans Ask ‘Where’s Will Smith?’

Damon Wayans Criticizes Dave Chappelle’s Speech

On June 20, 2022, in a theatre renaming ceremony at his high school, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C., Chappelle delivers a speech in which he addresses the backlash ignited by his 2021 special “The Closer” and its contents following a Q&A conducted between him and the institution’s students.

Chappelle
Chappelle offers tribute to his alma mater and the educators who helped shape his artistic sensibilities

Related article: Fans Call Dave Chappelle ‘Despicable Hypocrite’ For Buying Land After Blocking Affordable Housing During Nationwide Housing Crisis

On the night of July 7, 2022, Netflix quietly dropped a surprise 40-minute special called “What’s In a Name?” by Dave Chappelle. The comedian addresses the concerns over the ceremonies initiated by his alma mater’s decision to rename the theatre in his honor by saying it was not his “idea, aim, or desire” to advocate such a thing and instead announces the new name as Theatre for Artistic Freedom and Expression — “Rather than give this theatre my name, I would like to give these students my message.”

Chappelle’s fellow contemporary, Damon Wayans revealed in a recent interview, “The thing is, you gotta ask yourself as an artist: is it special – or are they taking advantage of me because I’m special?” and added, “Don’t blur the lines. Is this a special or is this a speech?”

Source: BET

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.