Dave Chappelle‘s The Closer has won the 2023 Grammy award for best comedy album. The Netflix show has faced accusations of transphobia and homophobia.
When Netflix aired the show as part of a $60m four-special deal with Chappelle, some staff apparently walked out in protest.
Last year, the US Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammys, was widely criticised for giving the best comedy album to Louis CK’s Sincerely, Louis, despite the comedian being exposed for a history of sexual misconduct.
Last year Chappelle was honoured in the spoken word category for 8:46, his raw response to the killing by policemen of George Floyd.
And when Netflix head Ted Sarandos named comic Hannah Gadsby in a memo to staff highlighting the diversity of views on the platform, the stand-up launched a savage response, saying: ‘Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess.
‘Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.
‘You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.’
But judges did not let that row stop them nominating him again this year for Sorry, recorded at New York’s Madison Square Garden last summer and criticised for an apparently flippant response to his behaviour.
Eric Deggans, a broadcaster at National Public Radio, said: ‘Wow. Grammys really don’t care; one year after giving an award to admitted harasser Louis C.K., they gave one to Dave Chappelle’s homophobic and transphobic Netflix special. Sigh.’