Chappelle is under fire for controversial comments he made about the trans community in The Closer.
In the special, Chappelle spoke about his friendship with Daphne Dorman, a trans woman and a fellow comedian from the San Francisco area. She died by suicide in 2019.
In a text message to the Daily Beast, Dorman’s sister, Becky, wrote, “Daphne was in awe of Dave’s graciousness. She did not find his jokes rude, crude, off-coloring, off-putting, anything. She thought his jokes were funny. Daphne understood humor and comedy—she was not offended. Why would her family be offended?”
Dorman’s younger sister, Brandy, agreed and called Chappelle an “LGBTQ ally.”
In the special and in other comments, Chappelle has touched on some sore points with the trans community. He noted the cancellation of Harry Potter author JK Rowling as one particular injustice. Rowling has been labeled a “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) for her comments on gender.
“They canceled JK Rowling – my God,” he said in The Closer. “Effectually she said gender was fact, the trans community got mad as shit, they started calling her a Terf…I’m Team TERF.”
Chappelle added that “gender is a fact” and that “every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth.”
The Closer spends a lot of time on Dorman, a comedian friend of Chappelle’s who opened for him. Chappelle closes the story by saying he set up a trust fund for Dorman’s daughter, and hoped to speak with her someday that he knew her father. “And he was a hell of a woman,” Chappelle said.