Dave Chappelle says he has no problem having a conversation with the transgender community — but it has to be under certain conditions.
The comedian has faced plenty of scrutiny since the release of his latest stand-up special, Netflix’s The Closer last month. Mostly, the LGBTQ community called for the feature to be pulled due to Chappelle’s transphobic remarks.
Chappelle has now addressed the controversy by first shutting down reports that he declined a meeting with LGBTQ Netflix employees. He shared in a five-minute clip from the Nashville stop of his country-wide tour to Instagram Monday (Oct. 25) and began,
“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.” Chapelle continued,
“If they had invited me, I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about. 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.”
While he said that he’s willing to speak with members of the transgender community, he made it clear “you will not summon me,” adding “I am not bending to anyone’s demands.”
He laid out a number of terms and 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.”
Gadsby was one of Chappelle’s many fellow comedians who publicly called him out for the remarks he made in The Closer, such as proudly proclaiming he’s team TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) and mocking transgender women’s bodies.
Chappelle went on to say in the video shared with his 2.5 million followers (with the comments turned off), “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. 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.”
He wrapped by saying that while several festivals have pulled out of showing his upcoming documentary, he plans to distribute it himself via screenings in 10 U.S. cities.
See his full message below.