Friday, October 15, 2021

Chappelle's Closer: Pure Transphobia, or Something More?


This is the best, most good faith conversation about the final chapter of Dave Chappelle's four-part Netflix special The Closer you'll hear anywhere on the internet. Period. Brie is joined by Dr. Steven Thrasher -- the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting (with an emphasis on issues relevant to the LGBTQ community) and an assistant professor of journalism -- and attorney, Champagne Sharks podcast host, and cultural critic Trevor Beaulieu. Together, the three try to figure out what's driving Chappelle's focus on the trans community, whether it's all transphobia, or if there's something worth engaging in Chappelle's work. Is Chappelle accurately observing an inconsistency between how punching "down" at Black Americans and punching down at Trans folks are perceived? Or is he just encouraging an unhealthy game of "oppression Olympics?" Is he erasing Black LGBTQ people in his commentary? Or, as he claims, is his audience misunderstanding that his target isn't Trans people. It is, as it has always been, white people? Listen, let us know what you think, and don't forget to subscribe on YouTube to watch the video episode. (Listen to the audio to hear embedded clips from the special).