The Netflix comedy special received two Primetime Emmy nominations Tuesday, including outstanding variety special (pre-recorded), competing with the streaming platform's "Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special," CBS' "Adele: One Night Only" and "One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga," and HBO Max's "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts." Stan Lathan is also nominated for outstanding directing of a variety special for his work on "The Closer."
Chappelle's comedy special, which was released on Netflix in October, ignited social media backlash at the time as advocates and activists from the LGBTQ community argued the episode was transphobic. Netflix employees also staged a walkout in protest.
After the Emmy nominations were announced Tuesday, people on social media voiced their frustration and criticized the decision to give further recognition to Chappelle's Netflix special.
"Dave Chappelle getting Emmy noms for his transphobic special is just disgusting," wrote Shannon O'Connor on Twitter. "Do better, TV Academy."
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Dave Chappelle getting Emmy noms for his transphobic special is just disgusting. Do better, TV Academy.
— Shannon O'Connor (@ShannonOConnor0) July 12, 2022
Twitter user @pierogiwitch said "i'm sorry i don't ever want to hear any cishet man complain about cancel culture again" following Chappelle's nominations.
"This is crushing," the user added.
"Disgusting. Another misfire from an awards ceremony. Even nominating that special is such a messed up thing to do," read a reply to @pierogiwitch's tweet.
Dave Chapelle got nominated for an Emmy for his transphobic piece of trash. But CaNcEl CuLtUrE, am I right?
— Jennifer Melton (@_jennifermelton) July 12, 2022
Twitter user @_jennifermelton called out the claim that Chappelle was canceled for this special saying he wouldn't have been nominated if he was.
"Dave Chappelle got nominated for an Emmy for his transphobic piece of trash," the user said.
Another Twitter user wrote, sarcastically: "Oh so Dave Chappelle has been canceled directly into an Emmy nomination."
Tracing back Chappelle's initial comments, backlash
In "The Closer," Chappelle attempts to paint a juxtaposition between the pace of civil rights gained by the LGBTQ community and those fought for by the Black community.
The comedian also expressed solidarity with "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, who has been heavily criticized since 2019 for conflating sex with gender. The author has also defended ideas suggesting that changing one's biological sex was a threat to her own gender identity.
"They canceled J.K. Rowling – my God," Chappelle says in the Netflix special. "Effectually she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as (expletive), they started calling her a TERF. I'm Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact."
TERF is an acronym that stands for "trans exclusionary radical feminists." The term describes feminists who are transphobic.
Backlash swiftly followed on and offline. After the comedy special's October release, about 30 Netflix workers staged a walkout and joined a rally at Netflix offices in Los Angeles.
Netflix's transgender employees said executives at the streaming service dismissed their concerns that Chappelle's controversial comments could lead to violence against the trans community.
At the time, two employees, one transgender and one non-binary, filed labor charges against the streaming giant alleging the company retaliated against them for speaking out about Chappelle's special.
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Chappelle's continues to defend 'The Closer' comments, Netflix releases 'What in a Name'
Chappelle gave a speech on June 20 at his high school alma mater when he announced he will not be naming the school's theater after himself. The comedian addressed an audience at the Duke Ellington School of Arts and said the theater would instead be named the "Theater of Artistic Freedom & Expression."
Chappelle graduated from the prestigious high school in 1991 and announced the name change in a Washington, D.C. ceremony, attributing the recent decision to the backlash he received from students regarding his controversial Netflix special, "The Closer."
He said he hoped to "defer" the renaming of his school's theater rather than reject in order to emphasize "the nuance of art" and his "freedom of artistic expression" where he received applause and a standing ovation.
In July, Netflix released footage of the comedian's speech in a nearly 39-minute feature titled "What's in a Name," in which the comedian defended his special calling it "a masterpiece," and arguing the press unfairly portrayed it.
"No matter what they say about 'The Closer,' it is still (one of the) most watched specials on Netflix," Chappelle said. "The more you say I can't say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it. It has nothing to do with what you are saying I can't say. It has everything to do with my freedom of artistic expression."
Contributing: Jenna Ryu, Elise Brisco
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dave Chappelle receives backlash over 'The Closer' Emmy nominations