Mae Martin explains why they called out Dave Chappelle in their Netflix special
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Mae Martin has explained why they chose to namecheck Dave Chappelle in their new Netflix special.
Chappelle has been heavily criticised recently for transphobic jokes in his own Netflix comedy show, even though he was later awarded a Grammy for it.
He received the Best Comedy Album award for The Closer, which aired in 2021 but has been the subject of much controversy ever since.
Chappelle used the show to express his support for JK Rowling and declare himself ‘Team TERF’ – which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Despite all the scandal that followed the show around, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos defended both the comedian and the show, claiming that the platform would never publicise content ‘designed to incite hate or violence’.
Still, Feel Good star Martin has called out Chappelle in their own show recently, and gave an interview with Rolling Stone recently in which they explained why.
The Canadian, who is non-binary, was asked how they ‘balance that self-described earnestness in a comedy climate that seems to be unfairly focused on the queer and trans community’, responding: “When you’re someone who’s part of the trans community, it can feel like a lose-lose.
“Because as soon as I start talking about it, people are like, 'Ugh, these people are constantly whining.’
“But it’s also a very crucial time to present a counterargument to the very loud people with huge platforms who are weighing in in bad faith about things that have real-life consequences.
“It’s a very difficult tone to hit because I do care about it so deeply, and could so easily rant for hours about how annoyed I am.
“So if it’s in any way helpful for people to see someone speaking about their lived experience and cutting through the endless debate about whether trans people deserve to be happy, then hopefully it’s worth it.
“But also, it’s not the most interesting thing about me and I don’t want to feel like it because I’m being forced to constantly defend my identity.”
Martin was then asked about whether they feel like including some comments about these other big-name stars might ‘paint a target on [their] back’?
They continued: “When I was touring the show I tried it — not naming them.
“It just felt like I was trying to be coy.
“I feel confident about what I’m saying, so I might as well just name them.
“The main thing I wish is that straight allies with bigger platforms would be brave enough to weigh in as well.
“Because it’s easy to dismiss queer people as being constantly up in arms about something.
“But with the legislation, we’re seeing such terrifying real-life consequences.
“And they’re things that affect everybody — there’s such a parallel between trans rights and bodily autonomy for women and all kinds of things that I think it’s time we all got involved a little bit.
"In the past couple of years, there’s been people mistakenly equating equality with some kind of infringement on their right to free speech.
"I want to say to these heroes of mine, comedians who are starting to feel like the enemy has become this kind of woke left: you’re being tricked."
In the end, Martin said that they hope people can take a positive away from their show, concluding: “Everything will sound corny in print, but truly: comedy is meant to make people feel less alone.
“The best thing is when people leave your show and you hear them talking in the bathroom after and they’re feeling inspired to talk about their sap.
“Such an amazing byproduct of making something is that you could be part of someone’s inner world. That’s so meaningful to me.
“Even on my days off, I’m going to see comedy because I love the feeling of being in a group of people that’s all laughing at the same thing.
“It’s such a unifying experience. It makes you feel human and less isolated. So I hope people feel that.”
Mae Martin’s comedy special SAP is available to watch on Netflix now.