*“SNL” alum Garrett Morris has defended Dave Chappelle’s controversial Netflix special “The Closer” amid backlash from the transgender community.
Speaking to THR, Morris called the special “brilliant,” and noted that “everybody can be the butt of a joke.”
He added, “And why should it be that if we joke about you, it’s sacrilege? You sit in the audience and laugh at jokes about everybody else. If we make a joke about trans [people] or gays, suddenly it’s sacrilege. And that’s what I got from that.”
“I don’t see what’s wrong with that, with all due respect. I see it as nothing but a man saying publicly, ‘This is what I do,’” he continued. “And if you can’t understand that this is comedy coming at you, then don’t live in a society that’s multicultural.”
Morris also defended “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling after male-to-female transgenders threatened to rape her for speaking the truth about gender.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 27, 2021
“Gender is a fact. Is it not? I’m asking you,” Morris said. “Is it not? Gender is not a fact?”
“You can’t choose the body you end up with,” THR reporter Seth Abramovitch replied.
“I like to think that [Chappelle] didn’t hold back, that he talked the way he felt. And, basically, he was saying that everybody should be what they are. You know?” Morris said. “Look, I was raised partly by a gay uncle, OK? I was raised by a Baptist minister. So by the time I was 12, 13, I knew there was a difference between what was called ‘the ministers of music’ and other people. Live and let’s just live. That’s it.”
“I mean, you might’ve never heard the part he talked about where the trans person who he had as his lead-in committed suicide,” the actor continued. “And that’s why I think he was angry about what happened to her from her own community. They’re talking about how you can’t be whatever. To me, that makes no sense.”
“I think Dave is a genius, to be honest. He’s a comic genius. I put him on the same level as I put Richard Pryor,” Morris said. “But Richard — the laughs were different. He had the ability to make you laugh at something and later on realize he was making a political point. Dave doesn’t do that. Dave has substance going on as he makes you laugh. You are hearing what he’s talking about right in your face. Maybe a bad choice, but that’s a level up anyway. And for me, Richard Pryor is the greatest monologist I’ve ever heard in my life, period.”
Read Morris’ full interview here.