Enrichment Arts & Culture

Dave Chappelle releases new standup video refusing to apologize for trans controversy

Story at a glance

  • Dave Chappelle is speaking out about the backlash prompted by his controversial Netflix special.
  • But he’s not backing down from remarks he made about the transgender community.
  • “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,” Chappelle said.

Dave Chappelle is speaking out about the backlash prompted by his controversial Netflix special, where the iconic comedian made comments about the transgender community — but he’s not backing down. 

“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 in a clip of a standup sketch posted to his Instagram page.

 “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,” he continued. 

The 48-year-old’s Netflix special “The Closer” led to public protests and a walkout at the company. Yet Chappelle notes that the outcry over his comments was sparked by the corporate “me versus that community” framing. 

“This has nothing to do with [the LGBTQ+ community]. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say,” Chappelle said. “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.”


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Chappelle reiterated that he is willing to speak with the members of the LGBTQ+ community upset over his remarks, but he was adamant he would not be summoned before offering a conditional invitation. 

“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,” Chappelle said.

“And if you want to meet with me, I am more than willing to, but I have some conditions … 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 said, referring to the Australian comedian who criticized his special. 


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