My favorite House Words from Game of Thrones were actually that of House Greyjoy: “what’s dead may never die.” Certainly more menacing than “a Lannister always pays their debts” or “winter is coming.”
What’s so great about “what’s dead may never die” is that, even though its origins are in a fantasy world, it can be applied to many facets of modern life. Look at New York Jets fans like myself, for example? Thought seeing Zach Wilson toss four interceptions against the Patriots a couple of weeks ago hurt us? Nonsense! Jets fans are already buried under six feet of despair: what’s dead may never die.
Now, while not exactly a one-to-one comparison, that same thinking can be applied to the likes of Dave Chappelle as it relates to cancel culture: short of committing an actual crime, Chappelle is so deeply engrained in comedy culture that attempting to cancel him is a fruitless endeavor. An exercise in futility. Chappelle has been “offensive” for years — what’s already canceled in uncancelable. I mean, Hollywood LITERALLY tried to cancel the dude for about a decade after he walked away from Chappelle’s Show, and now he’s richer and more famous than ever.
This is all to say that I find attempts to have his latest special, The Closer, to be legitimately laugh-out-loud funny. Absolute lunacy, as far as I’m concerned. Be angry with Chappelle all you want — that’s totally fine — but calling for Netflix to scrub his stand-up specials from their platform is ignoring the fact that this is *exactly* what Netflix was signing up for, they knew *exactly* what they were getting when they penned the legendary stand-up to a $60 million deal a few years back. They wanted Dave Chappelle to be Dave Chappelle, it’s what made him a pillar of comedy in the early 2000s.
Dear White People executive producer Jaclyn Moore is the most prominent figure on the streamer to speak out about the controversy. Moore said in a Twitter string this evening that she would no longer work with the streamer “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
The National Black Justice Coalition’s executive director David Johns certainly had something to say also. The current head of the nearly 20-year-old civil rights group wants The Closer taken off Netflix ASAP. [via Deadline]
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
I love so many of the people I've worked with at Netflix. Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art… But I've been thrown against walls because, "I'm not a 'real' woman." I've had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @Netflix, I'm done. https://t.co/2naqrzW0G2
— Jaclyn Moore (@JaclynPMoore) October 7, 2021
At this time, both Netflix and Chappelle have yet to make a comment in regards to the backlash. Nevertheless, The Closer and Chappelle’s other Netflix stand-ups — The Age of Spin, Deep In The Heart of Texas, Equanimity, The Bird Revelation, Sticks & Stones, and 8:46 — can be found on the service.