As the writer and showrunner of the hit Netflix series Dear White People, Jaclyn Moore has established herself as a key emerging voice in modern comedy. However, in a recent interview with Variety, she has said she will turn her back on Netflix following Dave Chapelle’s – her comedy forebearer and former hero – stand-up special.
Jaclyn Moore stated: “His shadow is huge. He’s a brilliant goofy comedian, he’s brilliant as a political comedian. He has been brilliant for so so long, but I also don’t think because you’ve been brilliant means that you’re always brilliant.”
This interview followed, Moore posting on social media that she would no longer work with the streaming giant after watching Chappelle’s latest stand-up special, The Closer. There are several jokes in the special that Moore has deemed “transphobic” and is evidently disappointed in Netflix’s willingness to broadcast the material.
Moore herself transitioned during the course of the pandemic, and she has been very vocal about her thoughts on the issues surrounding transphobia. She wrote: “After the Chappelle special, I can’t do this anymore. I won’t work for @netflix again as long as they keep promoting and profiting from dangerous transphobic content.”
Moore was quick to add that her personal experience had been a pleasant one but unwilling to continue the relationship. I love so many of the people I’ve worked with at Netflix. Brilliant people and executives who have been collaborative and fought for important art,” she wrote. “But I’ve been thrown against walls because, ‘I’m not a ‘real’ woman.’ I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So, @netflix, I’m done.”
In the Variety interview, she fleshed out her point, stating: “I never loved Dave’s trans material before but this time it felt different. This is the first time I felt like, ‘Oh, people are laughing at this joke and they’re agreeing that it’s absurd to call me a woman.’ The fact is that’s the exact rhetoric and language that is used against us.”
Later adding: “It’s dangerous and it has real world physical violence repercussions. People like to say, ‘Oh, it’s just a joke.’ I get the joke. By the way there’s a lot that’s funny about being trans, but the idea that it’s funny that we call ourselves women, which was the subtext of a lot of those jokes, is not one of them. It’s actually the same language used by people who seek to hurt us.”