Dave Chappelle Triggers The Trans Community Again

Dave Chappelle is facing backlash from the trans community again, this time for claiming they incite violence.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Dave Chappelle has triggered transgender folks by saying the community was guilty of inciting violence. The comedian made the claim on his Midnight Miracle podcast, discussing recent criticisms of transphobia. Reflecting on recent shows, the 49-year-old said his fans encountered protestors who threw eggs and hurled insults.

“In a weird way, they had the intention of inciting violence against themselves for publicity,” Dave Chappelle said via Rolling Stone. He added that transgender people and their supporters always say that his jokes will cause some impending violence. He argued that despite the often abrasive nature of his jokes, his fans were the ones on the receiving end of violence.

“The way they were protesting, throwing eggs at people, throwing barricades, cussing and screaming. None of my fans beat them up,” the comedian continued. Discussing the cancelation of his Minneapolis show, Dave Chappelle said he was upset when the venue cited creating a “safe space” for everyone as the reason.

“I wasn’t mad that they canceled the show. I was mad at the statement they released,” he explained. “You’re sorry? For booking me? What’s there to be sorry about is the position I was taking,” Dave Chappelle continued. The comedian added that he isn’t upset that some people don’t like his work. What bothers him is not being allowed to say something that might bother someone else.

“What I take issue with is the idea that because they don’t like it, I’m not allowed to say it,” he explained. Dave Chappelle then shared a theory stating that “they” want to create an environment where people will fear punishment for the things they say and they just don’t get to do that. The 49-year-old did not specify who “they” refers to.

According to Dave Chappelle, art is a nuanced endeavor and he believes that they are trying to take the nuance out of speech in American culture. This is done by forcing people to say things that are politically right- or left-leaning.

“Everything seems absolute, and any opinion I respect is way more nuanced than these binary choices. I don’t see the world in red or blue,” he continued.

Despite the backlash, protestors did not get Dave Chappelle’s Varsity Theater show canceled. Instead, the controversial star said he was greeted with a standing ovation when his performance started. “It was a huge ovation because suddenly going to see a comedy show was this huge act of defiance,” he said via Variety. “But I don’t think anyone had any malicious intent.”

Dave Chappelle found fame in the ’90s with roles in The Nutty Professor and Half Baked. He became more of a household name after The Chappelle Show premiered on Comedy Central. After exiting the project due to creative differences with the network, he took a short hiatus before making a comeback in the 2010s with stand-up and on-screen performances.

While his jokes have always been abrasive, backlash against Dave Chappelle intensified in 2021 after Netflix released a stand-up special called The Closer. The set included controversial jokes about transgender people which led an employee at the streamer to walk out in protest at the time. The comedian concluded his podcast by saying trying to silence a person like him has nothing to do with being loved.