Pointing out that free speech is under attack is not merely a platitude. As part of his profession, comedian Dave Chappelle has embodied that fight for some time now and a recent “trans” joke likely rekindled the activist ire against him.
Comedian John Mulaney was holding a show at Ohio State University’s Value City Arena for his “From Scratch” tour Friday in Columbus, OH when, as a surprise to the audience, Chappelle came out on stage as an opening act. It was not stated whether the appearance was planned out in advance or spontaneous, but it is known that Chappelle calls Yellow Springs, OH, about one hour away from Columbus, his home.
Given perceived slights against the “trans” community in the past, especially with his Netflix special “The Closer,” it was probably enough of a triggering experience to simply have Chappelle step out on stage Friday. However, the telling of a “trans” joke was too much for them to cope with.
Warning: Adult Language
y’all ever hear ~12,000 people laugh at a transphobic joke, while you’re a trans person in the audience who didn’t know the transphobic comedian would make a surprise appearance at the John Mulaney show? yeah. wasn’t fun. fuck you D.C.
— rae (spookiest version) (@raegan_givant) May 21, 2022
this dave chappelle shit is actually making me lose my mind. cis people are gaslighting and demonizing us for being mad at transphobic jokes that have been reiterated by for years.
— Trans Character Of The Day (@TransOfTheDay) May 22, 2022
There's a difference between making a joke about a group of people and trashing their very existence. Dave Chappelle's "jokes" are hateful, not funny
— Climate isn't fixed by platitudes (@strike4ourearth) May 22, 2022
When Chappelle/Mulaney fans say "Why can't Trans people take a joke?" they mean "why can't you die quietly while I laugh?"
— Non-Binary Nomma Bear🍪 (@berniecomicnerd) May 22, 2022
So what exactly did Chappelle say that was so “hateful” that Mulaney (who hugged his guest after), and Ohio State University for that matter, will likely be expected to issue statements to appease the woke mob. According to reports from spectators at the recording prohibited performance it was an otherwise innocuous joke that referenced the recent onstage attack perpetrated against the comedian.
“I mean, it wasn’t a gun, it was a knife! A gun that identifies as a knife?”
He then paused, smiled a bit, and moved on quickly.
– The homophobic joke was him saying “maybe you two are gay, I don’t know, nothing wrong with that if that’s the case.”
— Reggie Dill Pickle-May (Not Reggie, Duh) (@FillsAnime) May 21, 2022
“‘I mean, it wasn’t a gun, it was a knife! A gun that identifies as a knife?’ He then paused, smiled a bit, and moved on quickly,” one retelling of the joke explained. Interestingly enough, the hierarchy of the LGBTQ community was put on display in the outrage as it was also alleged that Chappelle had made a homophobic joke.
“The homophobic joke was him saying, ‘maybe you two are gay, I don’t know, nothing wrong with that if that’s the case,'” as Chappelle bantered with members of the audience.
Dave chappelle made a joke about a gun identifying as a knife and the trans activist are mad again
— FixedLeon (@SomeRuined) May 22, 2022
Dave Chappelle should double down and have entire comedy special with trans-jokes
— █ Objection (@eviilrob) May 22, 2022
Of course, as one outraged Twitter snowflake pointed out, the perceived slight stemmed from an expectation that Mulaney’s show would be a safe space for them.
Imagine you're a trans person wanting to go to the show of one of the few non-transphobic comedians, expecting one night away from transphobia, but then that piece of shyt Chappelle shows up, unannounced, making transphobic jokes without your consent.
We're not allowed rest.
— Pretty Serious Persephone 🏳️⚧️🏴☠️🦖 🦕she/her (@PSPersephone) May 22, 2022
Objectively speaking, when considering pacing, timing and delivering punchlines, Chappelle is considered one of the best comedians. While not all humor requires some individual or group be the butt of the joke, Chappelle has always remained an equal opportunity offender. To arrive at any comedy show and expect zero risk of being offended is to not understand what comedy is. Furthermore, to hone in on Chappelle as some kind of enemy of the “trans” community is to be dismissive of his body of work and his actual past statements.
Dave Chappelle claps back: ‘You will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands’ https://t.co/XeBL1GChKt pic.twitter.com/nnZ4FkpxK3
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 26, 2021
“To the transgender community,” he said at the height of their last crusade against him, “I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”
Unfortunately, bending to their demands appears to be the only acceptable outcome in their books.
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