A senior engineer at Netflix accused comedian Dave Chappelle Thursday of attacking the transgender community in his Netflix special, “The Closer.”
“I work at @netflix,” tweeted transgender, queer, and polyamorous Netflix engineer Terra Field (according to Field’s Twitter bio). “Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about ‘offense’. We are not offended.”
Field went on to discuss how “being trans is actually pretty funny, if you’re someone who actually knows about the subject matter,” but objects that Chappelle finds transgender existence “funny,” adding, “when we object to his harm, we’re ‘offended.’”
“The problem is that people are responding to something we never said,” the Netflix senior engineer continued. “We aren’t complaining about ‘being offended’ and we don’t have ‘thin skin.’ You try going to a pharmacy and having them call you ‘sir’ in front of everyone while you pick up your estradiol. ‘Thin skin.’”
“What we object to is the harm that content like this does to the trans community (especially trans people of color) and VERY specifically Black trans women,” Field added.
A Netflix spokesman declined to comment on Field’s remarks.
Chappelle’s sixth and final Netflix special touched on a number of hot button issues, including frequent references to race and gender. The Emmy-award winning comedian also waxes eloquent on acclaimed author J.K. Rowling, who has drawn heavy fire from transgender activists for defending biological sex.
Chappelle says in “The Closer” that he is joining Rowling’s team — “Team TERF” — referencing the acronym for the insult “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” that activists have labelled Rowling.
“In our country, you can shoot and kill a [N-word] — but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings,” Chappelle said, referring to a shooting that occurred in a North Carolina Walmart in 2018 involving rapper DaBaby. DaBaby, who was at the store with his wife and children, engaged in a gun fight with 19-year-old Jalyn Craig, who was killed.
Craig’s family said that DaBaby instigated the fight, but police dismissed the case ““because a key civilian witness was unavailable” and merely charged DaBaby with misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Field is not the only person angered by the special — many social media users expressed outrage over Chappelle’s comments, including Jaclyn Moore, the executive producer and the showrunner of Netflix’s “Dear White People.”
“I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix,” Moore tweeted. “Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art… But I’ve been thrown against walls because, “I’m not a ‘real’ woman.” I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @Netflix, I’m done.”
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