The family of Daphne Dorman, a trans woman who died by suicide in 2019, have defended Dave Chappelle over his controversial comments on the trans community.
Chappelle made the references in his new Netflix stand-up special The Closer, which included voicing his support for Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
“They cancelled J.K. Rowling – my God,” Chappelle said in the show. “Effectively, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as shit, they started calling her a TERF.”
He continued: “I’m Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”
Within the special, Chappelle also misgendered Dorman, with whom he had a friendship, while discussing her suicide.
However, in a text message to the Daily Beast, Dorman’s sister wrote: “Daphne was in awe of Dave’s graciousness. She did not find his jokes rude, crude, off-colouring, off-putting, anything. She thought his jokes were funny. Daphne understood humour and comedy – she was not offended. Why would her family be offended?”
Her other sister Brandy went on to label Chappelle an “LGBTQ ally.” However, Chappelle’s comments have caused backlash from an LGBTQ rights group.
“Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalised communities,” wrote the group GLAAD on Twitter.
“Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don’t support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree.”
Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don't support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree. https://t.co/yOIyT54819
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 6, 2021
Meanwhile, The National Black Justice Coalition’s executive director David Johns called out Netflix and demanded that the platform remove the stand-up special.
“It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform,” Johns said in a statement acquired by Deadline.