Dave Chappelle has openly addressed the concerns raised by LGBTQ members of Netflix, Inc. NFLX who have protested some of the content in his new special “The Closer,” offering to meet with them but insisting he will not kowtow “to anybody’s demands.”
What Happened: Variety reported that Chappelle posted an Instagram video refuting claims he refused to meet with the Netflix workforce, particularly transgender members who expressed outrage over some of his jokes aimed at that demographic.
“If they had invited me, I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about,” Chappelle said in the video. “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.”
Chappelle noted he would be open to a meeting with the transgender Netflix workers and the wider trans community, although he said it would come with caveats.
“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me,” he stated. “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.
“First of all," he continued, “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” — the latter a cheeky reference to the Australian lesbian comic who had her own Netflix special.
What Else Happened: Chappelle also questioned media coverage of the workforce’s response to “The Closer,” noting he has been supported in the past by the LGBTQ community — although he misidentified the acronym.
“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,” he said. “Do not blame the LBGTQ community for any of this s**t. This has nothing to do with them.”
Instead, Chappelle insisted the brouhaha was “about corporate interests, and what I can say, and what I cannot say. 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.”
Chappelle also complained that a documentary on his summer 2020 shows was excluded from film festivals because of the controversy over “The Closer.”
“And now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film,” he said. “Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”
Chappelle closed his video noting his film has playdates in 10 cities during November and then asked, “Am I canceled or not?”
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