What backlash? Dave Chappelle is loving 'being canceled' as he gets standing ovation
LOS ANGELES — Backlash be damned, Dave Chappelle is apparently basking in the glory of being canceled.
The veteran comedian received a standing ovation and a raucous fireworks display at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday night during a screening of his untitled documentary — as if he hadn't just been widely criticized for transphobic remarks he made in his new Netflix special, "The Closer."
"If this is what being canceled is like, I love it," the 48-year-old Chappelle said onstage in response to the standing O, according to several reports.
Rapturous applause broke out after that, the Hollywood Reporter said, adding that Chappelle was more blunt elsewhere in the program, denouncing his "cancellation" over his exclusionary jokes.
"F— Twitter. F— NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid-a— networks," he reportedly said. "I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to you. This is real life."
The Emmy- and Grammy-winning comic came under fire this week for defending "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling's transphobic remarks in his latest stand-up program, which is currently No. 4 on Netflix's list of top streaming titles.
He proudly declares himself a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) in solidarity with Rowling, who has been labeled with the term for repeatedly expressing anti-transgender sentiments.
That portion of "The Closer" — as well as other quips about rapper DaBaby's homophobic behavior this summer — fueled a backlash among members of the LGBTQ+ community on social media.
The remarks have also been denounced by social justice organizations, including GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition, and Netflix creators who said they'll be severing ties with the platform "as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content."
Chappelle's upcoming documentary, a 118-minute film directed by "American Factory" Oscar winners Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert, chronicles the inner workings of last year's socially distanced "Chappelle's Summer Camp" festival.
He reportedly had a moment of sincerity onstage Thursday as he promoted themes in the doc, telling the Bowl audience to "do something nice for someone who looks nothing like you" and "trust one another."
Thursday's performance was attended by Tiffany Haddish, Brad Pitt, Jeff Ross, Michael Buffer, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Jon Hamm and Stevie Wonder. Wonder also shared a message of unity, calling on attendees to cancel hate and fear.
Though Chappelle didn't repeat the controversial jokes at the event, he closed out by saying: "Thank God I'm canceled because f— this s—anyway," according to TMZ. "I bet you I'll be someone better than you think."