Dave Chappelle’s ‘The Closer’ lands Emmy nods after backlash

Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, which sparked a massive backlash on social media and a staff revolt at Netflix last fall, was nominated for two Emmy Awards.

The program, which was widely criticized for Chappelle’s transphobic comment, received Emmy nods for pre-taped variety special and direction for a variety special on Tuesday morning. Rounding out the special category of pre-recorded variety are Adele: One Night Only (CBS), Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: ​​Return to Hogwarts (HBO Max), Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special (Netflix), and One Last Time: A Night With Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga” (CBS).

Nominated in the Directing category alongside Stan Lathan (The Closer) are Paul Dugdale (Adele: One Night Only), Bo Burnham (Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel), Norm Macdonald and Jeff Tomsic (Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special ‘) and Hamish Hamilton (‘The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show’).

After “The Closer” began streaming on Netflix in October, many in the LGBTQ+ community — including some Netflix employees — and beyond, condemned the streaming giant for releasing the special. During the taped show, Chappelle declared himself to be “Team TERF” in support of “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling, who has been labeled a radical feminist for trans exclusion for repeatedly voicing anti-trans views.

He also made insensitive comments about discriminatory laws that force trans people to use bathrooms that match the gender they were assigned at birth, as well as about gay people and the larger LGBTQ+ community — which he has consistently and erroneously labeled LBGTQ- designated community.

Less than a month after The Closer premiered on Netflix, members of the company’s trans employee resource group and allies staged a walkout in Los Angeles to protest the special’s release. Protesters called on the streaming giant to set up a fund to support transgender and non-binary talent and to attach a disclaimer to The Closer, stating, among other things, that it “contains transphobic language, misogyny, homophobia and hate speech.”

“When I thought about why I’m participating [walkout]it is [so] that my son doesn’t grow up with content that says they hate me,” said B. Pagels-Minor, a former leader of Netflix’s Black@ and Trans* employee resource groups, who was fired by the company because he allegedly leaked confidential information to the press amid the Chappelle fallout. (Pagels-Minor has denied the allegation.)

“I want my child to grow up in a world where they see that their parent, who is a black transgender person – because I exist, contrary to what the particular says, contrary to what a lot of people say – that I am valued and I am an important person.”

In response to the criticism, Chappelle has both hailed and denounced his “cancellation,” while Netflix remains standing by and working with the veteran comedian.

“I said what I said and boy did I hear what you said,” Chappelle said in an Instagram video of October’s firestorm.

“My god, how could I not? You said you wanted a safe work environment at Netflix. Well, it seems I’m the only one who can’t go to the office anymore.”

“We try to support creative freedom and artistic expression among the artists who work at Netflix,” Netflix co-head Ted Sarandos said in an October interview with Variety. “Because we’re trying to entertain the world, and the world is made up of people with a lot of different sensibilities and beliefs and sense of humor and all those things… there’s going to be things on Netflix that you don’t like.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-07-12/emmy-nominations-2022-dave-chappelle-the-closer-netflix Dave Chappelle’s ‘The Closer’ lands Emmy nods after backlash

Sarah Ridley

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