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Wanda Sykes Calls Out Dave Chappelle, Embraces 'Woke' Label

Wanda Sykes Calls Out Dave Chappelle, Embraces 'Woke' Label

Wanda Sykes on the red carpet

The out comedian also voiced her support for the trans community.

Wanda Sykes has spoken out against Dave Chapelle's transphobic jokes, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and shared why she accepts the "woke" comedian label.

The lesbian actor, comedian, and writer spoke with Variety ahead of the premiere of her new stand-up special I'm an Entertainer, which hit Netflix this week.

Sykes, who is known for her roles on Black-ish and Curb Your Enthusiasm, expressed disappointment with Dave Chapelle, whose Netflix special The Closer drew criticism for its anti-trans content. "I think what he said was so hurtful and damaging to the trans community," she said.

"I'm not trans, but they have my support, 100 percent," she stated.

When asked whether she believes that her special "balances out" the harm done by Chappelle's, Sykes was uncertain, and said "the scale is still tipped" in favor of those espousing anti-trans rhetoric.

The star also shared her thoughts on being called a "woke" comedian. "If you want to give me the label of a 'woke comic,' that’s fine," Sykes said. "That’s great. What makes me laugh is that they say that like it’s an insult: 'Oh, they’re woke.” Thank you!'"

"It’s almost like they’re angry that we’re evolving. It's sad, really" she continued.

Nonetheless, Sykes added that she believes people have gotten better, noting that antigay, anti-trans comedy is at least less acceptable than it used to be. And despite the recent surge of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the U.S., Sykes told Variety that she remains hopeful.

"The steps back in both the news and comedy, that’s what makes the most noise, instead of the progress we’re making," she said, "I think they’re just louder, all the Trump supporters and all that. But I like to focus on the wins. I mean, there are not a lot of them, but I like to celebrate them!"

Watch the trailer for Sykes's I'm an Entertainer special below.

Wanda Sykes: I’m An Entertainer | Official Trailer |

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