Dave Chappelle defended by family of late friend following comments about the trans community

·2-min read
Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Mark Twain Award for American Humor on October 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. - This years' award recipient is comedian Dave Chappelle. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Dave Chappelle defended by friend's family following comments about trans people. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The family of a late friend of Dave Chappelle is defending the comedian following controversial comments he made about the trans community in his most recent Netflix special, The Closer.

Daphne Dorman, a trans woman and a fellow comedian who lived in the San Francisco area, struck up a friendship with the Chappelle Show alum prior to her death by suicide in 2019. Dorman was referenced in Chappelle’s 2019 Netflix special for having defended him following previous comments he made about the trans community.

Dorman’s sisters shared their support for Chappelle to The Daily Beast. Over text, Dorman’s sister Becky wrote to the outlet, “Daphne was in awe of Dave’s graciousness. She did not find his jokes rude, crude, off-coloring, off-putting, anything. She thought his jokes were funny. Daphne understood humor and comedy—she was not offended. Why would her family be offended?”

Dorman’s younger sister Brandy agreed with the statement and called Chappelle an "LGBTQ ally." 

Following the release of his Netflix special earlier this week, Chappelle received criticism from the trans community — as well as social media at large — after he made jokes about the so-called “cancellation” of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who was labeled a “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) following multiple comments she made about gender on Twitter.

“They canceled JK Rowling – my God,” he said on stage. “Effectually she said gender was fact, the trans community got mad as shit, they started calling her a Terf...I’m Team TERF.”

He went on to say that “gender is a fact” and that “every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth.”

Multiple activist groups, including GLAAD, criticized Chappelle’s comments about the trans community, with many pointing out that he has made similar jokes at their expense over his decades-long career. Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn Moore, who is trans, called Chappelle out on social media for perpetuating ideas that may lead to more violence against trans people, as well as slammed Netflix for platforming the comedian.

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