Story at a glance

  • Dave Chappelle said in a stand up clip posted to social media on Monday that his controversial Netflix special “The Closer” led distributors to scrap his documentary.
  • The legendary comedian spoke of the canceled documentary he made amid COVID-19 lockdowns during a five-minute clip on his Instagram.
  • “[When] this controversy came out about ‘The Closer,’ they began disinviting from these film festivals and now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, not nobody will touch this film,” he said.

Dave Chappelle said in a stand-up clip posted to social media on Monday that his controversial Netflix special “The Closer” led distributors to scrap his documentary. 

The legendary comedian spoke of the canceled documentary he made amid COVID-19 lockdowns during a five-minute clip on his Instagram where he addressed the backlash following remarks he made regarding the transgender community. 

“This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States and some of those invitations I accepted,” Chappelle said. 

“[When] this controversy came out about ‘The Closer,’ they began disinviting from these film festivals and now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, not nobody will touch this film,” he added. 


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“Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix. He’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet,” Chappelle said. 

The film will instead be screened on a 10 city tour, which includes New York, San Francisco and Indianapolis, Chappelle said.  

Chappelle’s Netflix special led to widespread criticism from the LGBTQ+ community and fellow comedians and reportedly inspired a walkout at the company’s office. But Chappelle said in the video clip he is not backing down, noting that his comments were reframed to serve corporate interests. 

“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.”

The 48-year-old, however, said he is willing to meet and have a discussion with a condition that those present watch his documentary in its entirety beforehand. 

"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.


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Published on Oct 26, 2021