Veteran comedian Dave Chappelle says that while he is “confused” about what they want to speak about, he will nonetheless meet with members of the transgender community, under the condition that anyone who meets with him first watches his Netflix special, The Closer, “from beginning to end.” Chapelle added that he is “not bending to anyone’s demands.”
“It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees at Netflix, and I refused. That is not true. If they would’ve invited me, I would have accepted it,” Chappelle said in a video posted Monday to his Instagram account.
“Although, I am confused about what we are speaking about,” the comedian added. “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 am the only one that can’t go to the office.”
Chappelle went on to address “the transgender community,” directly, stating, “I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me, 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, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end,” he said. “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.”
In a leaked Netflix memo defending Chappelle’s special, the company’s CEO Ted Sarandos cited LGBTQ-friendly content like Orange Is the New Black, Sex Education, and comedian Hannah Gadsby’s comedy specials Nanette and Douglas as evidence that the streaming service is “working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story,” reports Rolling Stone.
After being referenced in the memo, Gadsby attacked Sarandos on Instagram, stating, “Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess. Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.
“You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted,” Gadsby added. “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult. I do shits with more back bone than you. That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because you just told the world there isn’t one.”
Last week, Netlfix’s corporate office was besieged by transgender activists and the protest’s organizer, Ashlee Marie Preston attacked Chappelle with a racist taunt, demanding to talk to “his master.”
In his video posted to Instagram on Monday, Chappelle also pointed “corporate interests” for the controversy surrounding his Netflix special.
“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me vs. that community, that’s not what it is,” he said.
“Do not blame the LGBTQ community for any of this shit. This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests, and what I can say, and what I cannot say,” Chappelle added.
“For the record — and I need you to know this — everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supportive, so I don’t know what this nonsense is about,” the comedian affirmed.