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In a lengthy post on Facebook, the Star Trek actor wrote that he used to watch comedy shows as a child that he now recognises as being “dehumanising to gay men”.
“One of the definitive comedy specials for me and my friends was Eddie Murphy’s Delirious, from 1983,” Wheaton wrote. “It had bits that still kill me. The ice cream song, Aunt Bunny falling down the stairs, mom throwing the shoe. Really funny stuff. There is also extensive homophobic material that is just f***ing appalling and inexcusable.”
He added: “Young Wil, who watched this with his suburban white upper middle class friends, in his privileged bubble, thought it was the funniest, edgiest, dirtiest thing he’d ever heard. It killed him.”
He went on to write that he “developed a view of gay men as predatory, somehow less than straight men, absolutely worthy of mockery and contempt”.
“For much of my teen years, I was embarrassingly homophobic, and it all started with that comedy special.”
— Lucy (@LucyRebel13) December 8, 2021
Wheaton also apologised to the people he had hurt in the past through his words, before turning his attention to Chappelle.
Referring to the comedian’s controversial Netflix special The Closer, Wheaton said that the show“contributes to a world where transgender people are constantly under threat of violence because transgender people have been safely, acceptably, dehumanised”.
Chappelle’s special, which was released in October, saw the comedian call himself “Team TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist)” and claim that “gender is a fact”.