Dave Chappelle has addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding his latest Netflix special, The Closer, where the veteran comedian makes several jokes about transgendered people. Chappelle’s comments have been met with immense criticism; last week members of Netflix’s LGBTQ+ community staged a walkout in protest of Netflix’s decision to stand behind the comedian.
Now Chappelle is speaking out on the controversy, uploading a video of his remarks to Instagram from the end of his standup show in Nashville. Chappelle began by disputing the claim that he declined an invitation to speak with LGBTQ+ staffers at Netflix, saying, “If they had invited me, I would have accepted it. Although I am confused about what we’re speaking about. 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. Well, it seems like I’m the only one who can’t go to the office anymore.”
Chappelle also said he is willing to meet with the transgender community – “But you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands. If you want to meet with me, I’d be more than willing to, but I have some conditions. First of all, you can not come if you haven’t watched my special from beginning to end. You must come to a place of my choosing and at a time of my choosing. And thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.” (Gadsby, an Australian comedian, recently spoke out against Netflix and Chappelle.) Chappelle added that the controversy has impacted the distribution of his upcoming documentary: “Because of this controversy, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival — nobody will touch this film. Thank god for Ted [Sarandos] and Netflix, he’s the only one who hasn’t canceled me yet.”
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