Many said they were upset and disappointed by Mulaney’s decision to allow Chappelle to perform despite his history of anti-trans and anti-gay jokes.
“Ever heard about 12,000 people laugh at a transphobic joke, when you’re a trans person in the audience who didn’t know the transphobic comedian would be making a surprise appearance on John Mulaney’s show? Yes. Wasn’t fun. fuck you DC,” a participant wrote.
“[Chappelle] was hitting a community that was already marginalized and abused by institutions,” McAlear told BuzzFeed News. “It was embarrassing to see a man revered in his craft become so tacky and boomer-esque.”
She added that the reaction to Chappelle’s set was mostly positive, although she was pleasantly surprised to hear audible cries of disagreement afterwards.
“It unfortunately makes sense — it was a joke in a red state like Ohio,” McAlear said. “In the end, he told the upset onlookers to relax. The obvious understanding of trying to receive backlash and acting shocked that he received…it was embarrassing.”
Mulaney is currently touring nationally for the first time since making headlines for his very public divorce from ex-wife Anna Marie Tendler, which has been the subject of many of his comedic routines. He started dating actress Olivia Munn shortly after their split and a stint in rehab, and last year the couple welcomed their first child together.
Although Mulaney himself didn’t make any anti-trans jokes last night, people pointed out that he has a lot of fans from the LGBTQ community, including those who were in the audience during Friday’s show. .