Netflix Adding Another Dave Chappelle Project Amidst Transphobia Controversy

As the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle's latest stand-up special continues, Netflix will be adding another one of the comedian's productions to its catalog in a couple of weeks. The service has acquired the license to Dave Chappelle's Block Party - a documentary and variety show with a mix of music and comedy performances filmed in the early-2000s. It is scheduled to go up on Netflix on Monday, Nov. 1, unless something changes in the ongoing protests of Chappelle's transphobic rhetoric.

Dave Chappelle's Block Party was released in 2005, around the time Chappelle famously walked away from Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central and a $50 million contract. The movie was generally well-received then and is generally well-regarded now, with a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing. It was filmed in Brooklyn, New York outdoors, with an air of community and spontaneity that has helped give Chappelle the reputation he has today. Performers include Kanye West, Mos Def, John Legend, A-Trak, Jill Scott, The Roots, Common and Kool G Rap among many others.

Of course, many fans may have a hard time enjoying the documentary after the release of The Closer this month, and the subsequent backlash against Chappelle. The comedian carried on a theme from several of his recent stand-up specials by addressing the transgender community and criticizing their methods of pursuing civil rights and fair treatment, with jokes at their expense peppered in. He also declared himself a part of "Team TERF," and parroted gender-critical talking points about biological sex which are debatable at best and are often used to justify violence against transgender people.

Chappelle is acclaimed for shining a light on the injustices done to the Black community in the United States, yet many fans who have lauded him for that over the years are now condemning his more recent work because of its transphobia. This sentiment has been best summed up in an essay titled "Dave Chappelle's Betrayal," written for GQ by Saeed Jones.

So far, Netflix and its executives have defended Chappelle from criticism and have resisted calls to remove his work from the catalog. The company even briefly suspended a transgender employee who mistakenly attended an executive meeting to discuss Chappelle's special. Therefore, there's little reason to think Netflix will change its plan to add Dave Chappelle's Block Party to its catalog next month.


At the time of this writing, The Closer is streaming on Netflix and is at number 5 on the service's top 10 list. Dave Chappelle's Block Party will be added on Monday, Nov. 1.