David Chappelle;

David Chappelle;

Chappelle has appeared in several films, including Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), The Nutty Professor (1996), Con Air (1997), You've Got Mail (1998), Blue Streak (1999), Undercover Brother (2002), Chi-Raq (2015), and A Star Is Born (2018). His first lead role was in the 1998 comedy film Half Baked, which he co-wrote with Neal Brennan. Chappelle also starred in the ABC comedy series Buddies (1996). In 2016, he signed a $20 million-per-release comedy-special deal with Netflix and released six standup specials under the deal. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

And no one is seemingly more aware of the power of his comedy. In 2005, Chappelle walked away from a reported fifty-million-dollar contract with Comedy Central for two additional seasons of “Chappelle’s Show,” his sketch-comedy series. Years later, he explained that he’d been conflicted about the effect of his brand of racial humor, which relied heavily on enacting stereotypes in order to ridicule them. He had begun to wonder whether his audience got the second, more subtle layer of his work, or whether it was entertained purely by the stereotypes. Some critics said that the pressure and the expectations that came with the contract and the success of the show’s previous seasons had been so intense that the comedian just decided that he wanted out. But Chappelle, as he told David Letterman, was attuned to nuances in his work that it would have been more convenient (and more lucrative) to ignore. There was always the risk, in riffing on the racial absurdities of American culture, of reinforcing rather than undermining them. (Source: www.newyorker.com)

The fallout from “The Closer” is in some ways the most interesting thing about the special. A group of trans employees has planned a walkout on Wednesday to protest. And anger within Netflix led to a rare and fascinating leak of internal viewing numbers, revealing just how little we understand success in the era of minimal transparency by entertainment companies. According to Bloomberg, based on Netflix’s measurement of efficiency, which balances a show’s reach with its price tag, Bo Burnham’s “Inside” (which earned the comic $3.9 million) performed significantly better than “The Closer” (which cost $24.1 million). (Source: www.nytimes.com Why has he been so fixated on transgender people for so many years now? It may be that he believes deeply that gender is a fact. Maybe he passionately wants to let us know he’s “Team TERF,” as he says in “The Closer” — an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Neither of those points come with punch lines. It could also be that he sees pushing these hot buttons as the easiest way to make a big fuss. (Source:www.nytimes.com))

For two weeks after its release, on October 5th, “The Closer” was among the ten most viewed programs on Netflix—but it was also met with outrage. Jaclyn Moore, the showrunner for the Netflix series “Dear White People,” who is white and trans, denounced “The Closer” and pledged not to work with Netflix in the future. (This led to a social-media backlash from people asking why “Dear White People,” a show about Black perspectives on white racism, had a white showrunner to begin with.) B. Pagels-Minor, a Black trans nonbinary Netflix employee who was helping organize a workplace walkout to protest “The Closer,” was fired for allegedly leaking internal documents about the special to the press. (Pagels-Minor denied leaking the material.) The walkout took place on October 20th. (Source: www.newyorker.com)


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