Dave Chappelle launching new Netflix specials following controversial 'The Closer'

Dave Chappelle is back on Netflix for the first time since The Closer.

After that special, which debuted on the streamer in October, the comic was criticized for his comments about the transgender community. However, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos defended him amid the backlash, and now the comedian will debut Chappelle's Home Team, four comedy specials executive produced by him and starring funny people who he selected.

The first of the specials, Earthquake: Legendary, starring Earthquake (real name: Nathaniel Stroman), an actor from CBS's The Neighborhood, premieres Feb. 28. The second installment of the series stars comic Donnell Rawlings, who appeared on Chappelle's Show and in The Wire, but there's no release date for that one yet. Both men are from Chappelle's hometown of Washington, D.C.

"I've been doing this a long time and comedians like Quake and Donnell are not only friends but have inspired my own career," Chappelle said in the news release. "Anyone in the comedy community knows these names and knows their time to shine is long overdue. I am proud to be a part of this moment."

Chappelle will introduce each comedian in the specials, but he won't be the one making the jokes, at least most of them, this time around.

His comments on The Closer elicited responses from the likes of GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition and prompted Netflix employees to stage a walk-out. GLAAD said his brand had "become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities."

Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don't support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree. https://t.co/yOIyT54819

— GLAAD (@glaad) October 6, 2021

Chappelle received a standing ovation during a screening of his film, Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary Film, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles a few days later. "If this is what being canceled is about, I love it," he told a sold-out crowd that included Brad Pitt and Tiffany Haddish.

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