Dave Chappelle is speaking out about the controversy surrounding his latest Netflix stand-up special, The Closer.
Chappelle was ripped in the media for “transphobic” comments and having anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. There was even a staged protest and walkout at Netflix by transgender employees to express their disapproval of the special. There were calls to pull Chappelle’s special from Netflix, but the streaming service’s executives stuck by the comedian.
Now, Chappelle is directly addressing the issues.
“I said what I said,” Chappelle noted, before expanding on his comments.
“It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused. That is not true — if they had invited me I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about,” Chappelle said. “I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not? You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore.”
“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that is not what it is. Do not blame the LBGTQ [sic] community for any of this shit. This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say,” Chappelle added. “For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been loving and supporting, so I don’t know what all this nonsense is about.”
After touching on serious issues, Chappelle took a parting shot at Hannah Gadsby, who spoke out against his special.
“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands. And if you want to meet with me, I’d be more than willing to, but I have some conditions,” he said. “First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end. You must come to a place of my choosing at a time of my choosing, and thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.”
Chappelle also addressed a documentary he has put together that he said will be available in the coming days. The documentary focuses on outdoor comedy shows Chappelle put on during the coronavirus pandemic, along with other comics like Joe Rogan.