bad timing

Madonna called Dave Chappelle “the next James Baldwin” in her new tour doc and fans are pissed

Madonna on her Madame X tour
(Photo: @madonna | Instagram)

Madonna released her highly anticipated Madame X tour documentary on Paramount+ last Friday and fans went wild… until Dave Chappelle showed up.

The homophobic and transphobic comedian makes a brief cameo appearance about halfway through the film, when Madonna sits down next to him in the audience and praises him for being “the next James Baldwin” without offering any compelling reasons to support the lofty comparison.


First of all, James Baldwin was a gay Black novelist who was a central figure in the LGBTQ rights movement; Chappelle is a standup comedian with a history of making  anti-LGBTQ remarks.

Related: Dave Chappelle just “punched down” the LGBTQ community…hard

Second, the timing of all this couldn’t be worse.

Madonna released her new tour documentary the same week Chappelle released his latest Netflix comedy special, in which he declares himself “Team TERF!” (the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist), voices his support for transphobic author J.K. Rowling, and talks obsessively about trans women’s genitalia, among other things.

The special has resulted in GLADD, National Black Justice Coalition, and several other civil rights groups issuing statements condemning Chappelle’s bigotry and urging Netflix to pull it from its platform.

And former Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn Moore, who transitioned during the pandemic, said publicly that she’s “done” working with Netflix “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”

Related: Laura Ingraham defends Dave Chappelle’s transphobia, even though he called her a “c*nt”

Obviously, Madonna never could have anticipated that Chappelle was going to release what is arguably his most anti-LGBTQ comedy special to date the same week she released her latest tour documentary, which was filmed over a year ago.

That said, at the time the concert was recorded, Chappelle already had a very long history of making homophobic and transphobic remarks, yet she still chose to compare him to Baldwin. Understandably, fans aren’t happy about it.

Now, the tweets…

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.