Controversial comedian Dave Chapelle—who has previously come under fire for jokes targeting the trans community—courted controversy after a chance encounter with Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert at the Capitol.
"Just three people who understand that there's only two genders."
You can see the picture below.
Although reports surfaced that Chappelle attended a Congressional Black Caucus meeting, a representative for the comedian refuted these claims, asserting that he did not participate in any meetings during his Capitol visit.
In the wake of the photo and encounter, Democratic advocacy group Call to Activism took to X, citing Chappelle's alleged stand-up comments about feeling "tricked" by Boebert's social media post regarding gender.
Chappelle reportedly expressed surprise and disappointment over Boebert's caption, feeling blindsided by her assertion of the binary gender concept. Humorously, Chappelle allegedly remarked about having intended to give Boebert tickets to a production of Beetlejuice, referencing Boebert's recent scandal after she was caught fondling her date during a Denver production of the show.
Call to Activism reported Chapelle giving the following response:
"[on walking into the Capitol] “What I didn’t expect was to see Lauren Boebert. She tricked me!"
"What was I supposed to do? ... It’s a shame she tricked me. I had two tickets to Beetlejuice and I was gonna’ give her one!”
A video circulating on X showed Chappelle leaving Congress, with Luna thanking him, and Boebert requesting the selfie, to which Chappelle obliged.
You can see it below.
Some felt the footage corroborated Chapelle's claim that he'd been "tricked."
Others were noticeably less sympathetic, pointing to Chapelle's history of expressing anti-trans sentiments.
Others chose to criticize Boebert's actions directly.
The unlikely trio's meeting raised eyebrows due to Chappelle's past comments and jokes that critics have labeled as anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+.
In October 2021, approximately 100 Netflix employees staged a walkout in opposition to Chappelle's streamed special, The Closer, which faced backlash due to its jokes targeting transgender women.
Initially, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos defended Chappelle, stating that the company has "a strong belief that content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world harm." However, he later admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that he made a mistake in internal communications within the company regarding the special, saying he "screwed up."