Dave Chappelle insulted an unmentioned group

Read Time:5 Minute, 42 Second


A long list of iconic black cartoons, they affirm that people who are gender non-compliant or that they are members of the LGBTQ community.

Black comics do sell their harmful stereotypes of LGBTQ people. For example, Eddie Murphy published a series of fierce homosexual slanders on his early talk show-he later apologized for it.
Before Tyler Perry's Madea appeared, there was

But the stage has always been one of the few places in the black community where LGBTQ members can be free to be themselves to a certain extent—or escape the cruelty they face in the outside world. Chappelle takes up some space.

“From the Harlem Renaissance to our performance history, transgender and non-gender performers have a long tradition in our history,” the book “Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture” Author Marlon M. Bailey said in Detroit. “

This is the reason for being lost in the controversy caused by Chapelle’s comments in his latest stand-up comedy film “The Closer”. Most of the attention was focused on the content of his jokes. Chappelle joked about the genitals of transgender women and told a story about beating lesbians. Then there are consequences. Netflix employees and supporters held a demonstration on Wednesday to protest the streaming media company’s response to the complaint. LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD also condemned Chapelle’s comments in “The Closer”.

However, it is easy to forget to focus all attention on Chapelle, that is, black comedians take huge risks to affirm LGBTQ people and treat their sexual orientation honestly.

Richard Pryor and mom Mabley

Consider the story of Richard Pryor, arguably the greatest stand-up comedy of all time.

Richard Pryor disclosed his bisexuality to friends. In a notorious public performance, he confessed to the audience his attraction to men.

A generation of movie fans only knew him through ordinary Hollywood movies such as “Toys” starring him. But Pryor is a different performer on the comedy platform: fearless, unpredictable, profanity. And be honest about his bisexuality.

In 1977, Pryor made the headlines at a gay rights fundraiser, where he talked about having sex with men on stage. Pryor’s bisexuality is well known among his friends, although some close to him still deny that he is gay.
An excerpt from the book says: “With this confession, Pryor may become the first Hollywood celebrity to talk about his own positive gay experiences in a vivid way—and of course the first to speak to thousands of people. The person in front of you who does this.”, “Become Richard Pryor” by Scott Sol.
Some people say that another black comedy superstar mother Maybury is so open to her gender identity that she is called “Mr. Mom” ​​on the stage.
Other black performers, such as entertainer and actress Josephine Baker, known as “radical bisexual performer and activist”, and blues singer Marini, known as “mother of blues”, subverted gender simile.
    Jackie Moms Mabley is a comedy pioneer on stage and an open lesbian off stage. Friends said she did not try to hide her identity.
In the early 20th century, when homosexuality was regarded as a mental illness, Rennie publicly sang lesbian relationships and cross-dressing. In her 1928 song “Prove This With My Blues”, she sang:

“I went out with a group of friends last night,

It must be a woman, because I don’t like men.

Wear my clothes like a fan,

Talk to girls like any old man. “

From Geraldine to RuPaul

Chappelle may be problematic for trans women, but black audiences traditionally accept black male cartoons, and they create gender-distorting characters in skirts.

The same is true for many contemporary black male cartoons. For black male cartoons, shaping female characters or stage characters is almost a ritual. Entertainer and writer Tyler Perry built her own entertainment empire on the broad mind of “Madea”, a humble and wise black matriarch. RuPaul has a large following.

Diverse comedians like Martin Lawrence (“Auntie’s House”), Malone and Sean Waynes (“White Chicken”) have all put on dresses for their most popular movies.

Of course, there is controversy about black men impersonating women or portraying LGBTQ characters on stage and movies. Some of these descriptions may reinforce stereotypes or poor taste. But none of them is as cruel to LGBTQ people as Chappelle in his Netflix special.

As one critic asked: “What is Dave Chapelle’s problem with homosexuals?
Some people say that timing is everything in comedy, and the timing of “The Closer” is terrible. In the year Chapelle commented, at least 33 states introduced bills to restrict the rights of transgender people-and the number of transgender people is at a record high, most of whom are transgender women of color.

“Now, transgender communities are under siege, especially transcommunities of people of color,” said Bailey, who is also a professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Arizona State University. “Performers should take this into consideration.”

Chappelle should consider other factors.

From one perspective, his latest special program is a success. It generated headlines and audiences, and added millions of dollars to his personal wealth. He can tell himself that all great comedians provoke anger and this is part of their job description. This is how they make people think. This is one of the reasons why Chapelle, a student of comic history, won the Mark Twain American Humor Award.

Tyler Perry built his own entertainment empire on

But ambitious comedians also face another invisible audience-great audiences who inspire them, some of whom are still alive. They will face these audiences in every performance. Before developing their own voice, they must contend and learn from the master. Chappelle said that his inspiration came from Pryor. Pryor was inspired by Lenny Bruce. Key & Peele’s black comedy duo (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) are inspired by everyone from Abbott and Costello to Steve Martin.

Chapelle’s betrayal of the black manga tradition

Chapel turned his back on these audiences by doing things that they had never done before—his career in pursuing groups that were more insulted than blacks.

Chapelle’s great cartoon that inspired him didn’t make that mistake.

Commentator Charles Bramesco declared in an article in 2019: “Predecessors like Bruce and Pryor are keen to infiltrate the mainstream with such progressive beliefs about sex, race, and culture that it is dangerous” He called it the “letter man”.

“Chappelle would rather retreat to his niche market as an old weirdo, where everything is expected and safe,” Bramesco said.

Chapelle’s dispute with the LBGQT community has shamed the memories of all the black comedian masters who made his career-and millions-possible.

They have created a safe space on the comic stage for people who do not conform to traditional gender norms. Black comics like Pryor are not perfect in terms of sexual politics (Pryor ended his gay rights fundraiser by hunting down white gays and telling the crowd to “kiss my happy, rich black ass”.

But they did prove that a black manga can be avant-garde and wonderful without beating another stigmatizing group that is considered great.


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