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Dave Chappelle mocks trans people in new Netflix special

Dave Chappelle's "The Dreamer" on Netflix revisits controversial anti-trans jokes, despite claims of moving on from targeting transgender people.

Renowned comedian Dave Chappelle's latest special, "The Dreamer," premiered on Netflix on December 31st. The special delves into Chappelle's early years in the entertainment industry and explores how he achieved success. However, the first 12 minutes of the set are devoted to revisiting a controversial topic that has been a favorite target for Chappelle in recent years: the transgender community.

Chappelle kicks off the special by recounting a story about visiting actor Jim Carrey on the set of the 1999 film "Man on the Moon." He expresses disappointment at spending the day with Carrey, who was method acting as comedian Andy Kaufman. Chappelle then draws a comparison, stating that interacting with Carrey in character was akin to how trans people make him feel.

Addressing the controversy surrounding his anti-trans material, Chappelle declares that he will no longer be making jokes about transgender individuals. He then shifts his focus to making jokes about "handicapped" people, stating that they are not as organized as the LGBTQ+ community and that he enjoys "punching down."

Chappelle later mentions that he has been attempting to repair his relationship with the transgender community and claims to have written a play about a Black transgender woman, using a derogatory term as the character's pronoun. He also makes a joke about identifying as a woman to be sent to a women's jail and makes a crude comment about engaging in violent behavior while claiming to be a girl.

In the special, Chappelle also addresses an incident in 2022 when he was attacked onstage at the Hollywood Bowl. He attempts to diffuse the situation with a joke, which does not go over well with the audience.

Filmed at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C., "The Dreamer" marks Chappelle's seventh standup special exclusive to Netflix. Chappelle has faced criticism for his comments about the transgender community in recent years, including in his 2021 Netflix special "The Closer." This material led to walk-outs and protests by Netflix employees in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

Despite the controversy, Netflix's initial defense of Chappelle's right to artistic freedom was later retracted by Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO and chief content officer of Netflix. The special concludes with a picture of Sarandos and Chappelle smiling together, leaving viewers with a sense of unease.

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