Viewers have reacted to Dave Chappelle‘s win at the Grammys last night (February 5), after the comedian took home the Best Comedy Album prize.
The star won the honour for his controversial 2021 Netflix special The Closer, which attracted a backlash after he described himself as “team TERF” when speaking on the controversy around J.K. Rowling.
At the time LGBTQ+ rights group GLAAD said that his “brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalised communities”, with some Netflix employees staging a virtual walkout over the comments.
During the Grammys’ Premiere Ceremony, Chappelle was announced as the winner of the Best Comedy Album prize, beating Jim Gaffigan (Comedy Monster), Randy Rainbow (A Little Brains, A Little Talent), Patton Oswalt (We All Scream), and Louis C.K. (Sorry) – the latter of whom controversially won last year despite previous sexual misconduct allegations.
Chappelle was not in attendance, though many on social media have reacted to the win, with NPR’s Eric Deggans tweeting: “Wow. Grammys really don’t care; one year after giving an award to admitted harasser Louis C.K., they gave one to Dave Chappelle’s homophobic and transphobic Netflix special. Sigh.”
“If you wondered how valid the Grammys are and also if cancel culture was a real thing, Louis CK and Dave Chappelle have now both won the award after being exposed as complete pieces of shit. Congratulations, America. Just continue to reward the worst of us,” another added.
Plenty more shared their reactions:
Congrats to CANCELLED and SILENCED Dave Chappelle for his Grammy win for The Closer 🙃🏆 hope he gets his platform back soon 😔
— faye (TRUST FUND OZU) (@TrustFundOzu) February 6, 2023
DaVe ChApPeLlE iS cAnCeLlEd https://t.co/SwFPQR8mG8
— 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈🌹✨Jackie✨ (@KaoticLeftist) February 6, 2023
Both Dave Chappelle and Kim Petras have won Grammys.
Seems symbolic of a weird transitional moment in our culture where trans rights are growing in popularity but transphobia is still accepted.
— Herostratus (@Herostratus356) February 6, 2023
dave chappelle? oh the grammys are a joke
— ry 🍂 (@loserwlw) February 6, 2023
Louis CK nominated for best comedy album and Dave Chappelle winning best comedy album but YEAH cancel culture ruins lives … #grammys #Grammys2023
— huffin’ puffin’ rough 💨✨ (@heygoodeffort) February 6, 2023
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. previously reacted to the inclusion of controversial individuals such as Chappelle, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “We don’t control who the voters vote for.”
“If the voters feel like a creator deserves a nomination, they’re going to vote for them. We’re never going to be in the business of deciding someone’s moral position or where we evaluate them to be on the scale of morality.
“I think our job is to evaluate the art and the quality of the art. We can make sure that all of our spaces are safe and people don’t feel threatened by anyone. But as far as the nominations or the awards, we really let the voters make that decision.”
Despite the controversy over the special, it was revealed in December that Netflix would be giving Chappelle more comedy specials, with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings saying The Closer was “one of the most entertaining specials we’ve ever had”, and that the platform would work with Chappelle “again and again”.
Chappelle previously responded to the backlash over his comedy special, saying in October: “I said what I said and boy I heard what you said. My god, how could I not?
“You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. Well, it seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore.”