This weekend, Dave Chapelle won his fifth Grammy for the Netflix special, The Closer, which was widely called out for its transphobic material.
The backlash erupted after Chappelle used crude terms to refer to transgender people’s anatomy and mocked LGBTQ+ communities in the show. Chappelle defended DaBaby in the special after the rapper’s homophobic comments caused him to be dropped from several festivals. He declared himself a member of “team TERF” — an ideology that excludes trans women as women based on the acronym “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”
When discussing racism within the LGBTQ+ community, Chappelle also failed to acknowledge that not all queer and trans people are white.
At the time, GLAAD and others condemned the comedian and demanded Netflix remove the content from its platform.
Chappelle refused to apologize for his comments, defending them as free speech.
He was not at the 65th Grammy Awards Sunday night, but a presenter accepted the best comedy album award on his behalf.
The Closer premiered on October 5, 2021, and received plenty of backlash due to the show’s anti-LGBTQ+ elements.
Netflix employees staged a walkout in response to the streaming company’s decision to stand behind the comedian’s special. In November, Saturday Night Live fans were upset that the long-running award-winning show had asked Chappelle to host and slammed producers for the move.
On social media, people expressed dissatisfaction with the results and commented on the juxtaposition of Chappelle’s win and Kim Petras achieving a milestone of being the first out transgender woman to win a Grammy for the best pop duo/group performance for her hit “Unholy” with Sam Smith.
“The same industry that’s patting itself on the back tonight for making Kim Petras the first trans woman to win pop duo/group performance at the #Grammys also gave Dave Chappelle another Grammy for his transphobic special “The Closer,” so it’s nice to see hypocrisy is alive & well,” one user tweeted.
Another wrote, “Kim Petras, a transgender musician who thanked other trans artists and specifically SOPHIE in her acceptance speech, just won a Grammy on the same night as Dave Chappelle, a militant transphobe who loves to shit on transpeople. What a night huh. #Grammys.”