Dave Chappelle has finally responded to the brewing controversy over his Netflix special “The Closer,” remaining unapologetic for jokes towards trans people while arguing that he has no hard feelings towards the LGBTQ community.
Chappelle specifically denied reports that he refused to meet with Netflix’s trans employees regarding the special. Last week, Netflix employees staged a walkout and held a rally outside Netflix’s Los Angeles office to protest the special, which has been harshly criticized for Chappelle’s transphobic material.
“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 recently during a new stand-up set. “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 who can’t go to the office.”
Netflix and Chappelle came under fire from prominent social justice organizations earlier this month for the comedian’s jokes targeting trans and other LGBTQ+ people in his new special. “Gender is a fact,” he says at one point in the hour-plus set. “Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth.” Chappelle then joked about the genitalia of trans women, which he described as “not what it is.”
Chappelle continued that, despite his jokes, he harbors no ill intent towards the LGBTQ community and that “everyone I know from that community has been loving and supportive.”
“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that’s not what it is. Do not blame the LGBTQ community for any of this. 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 supportive, so I don’t know what this nonsense is about.”
You can watch the full video below: