In her new Netflix stand-up special, “I’m an Entertainer,” renowned comedian Wanda Sykes once again proves herself to be a trusted LGBTQ+ ally. Known for her outspokenness and fearlessness, Sykes tackles a range of hot topics, including anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and the Black Lives Matter movement, firmly establishing herself as a prominent voice in the comedy world.
Joining genderqueer comedians Mae Martin and Hannah Gadsby, who have recently released their own stand-up specials on the streaming platform, Sykes unintentionally becomes part of a queer counter-movement. This movement stands in stark contrast to the contentious shows of comedians Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais, both of whom have faced criticism for their controversial remarks about the transgender community.
In an interview with Variety, Sykes discussed her decision to address the anti-trans “bathroom bills” that have been sweeping across several US states, as well as her thoughts on Dave Chappelle and the backlash she has received for being labeled “woke.” These bills restrict trans individuals from using public restrooms that align with their gender identity, contributing to a broader environment of harassment and discrimination.
Sykes, who identifies as a lesbian, expressed her unwavering support for the trans community, stating, “I’m not trans, but they have my support, 100 percent.” She aimed to shed light on the ignorance and hatefulness inherent in such discriminatory legislation, sharing anecdotes from her own experiences and challenging societal perceptions.
While Sykes acknowledged that her special might not completely balance out the impact of Dave Chappelle’s trans comments in his own Netflix stand-up special, “The Closer,” she emphasized the importance of offering an alternative perspective. Despite their past acquaintance on the stand-up circuit in Washington DC, Sykes and Chappelle have not recently engaged in conversation. However, Sykes expressed her willingness to address the issue with him if given the opportunity.
Optimistic about the progress made in LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, Sykes acknowledged that negative news and regressive voices often dominate the discourse. Nevertheless, she remains focused on celebrating the wins and the positive steps forward, highlighting the ongoing evolution of society.
Wanda Sykes’ latest stand-up special, “I’m an Entertainer,” is now available for streaming on Netflix. Through her unapologetic comedy and unwavering support for the trans community, Sykes continues to pave the way for increased inclusivity and understanding within the entertainment industry.