Dave Chappelle addresses transphobia controversy in new video
Dave Chappelle has addressed the controversy over his new Netflix special, The Closer, which has received criticism for being transphobic. In a new video posted on Instagram, Chappelle reiterated a statement made to TMZ saying that he was open to a conversation with Netflix employees, some of whom staged a walkout in protest of the special. "It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused," he said. "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. 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 also says that the controversy isn't related to the LGBTQ community, saying, "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. Do not blame the LBGTQ 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. 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."
Addressing why he's chosen to speak about the controversy now, Chappelle says, "This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States and some of those invitations I accepted. When this controversy came out about The Closer, they began disinviting me from these film festivals. And now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film. Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet."
He continues that he's going to screen his film, the untitled documentary that first screened at Radio City Music Hall in June in ten cities (including the NYC date at Madison Square Garden on November 22 he recently announced), asking the audience, "Am I canceled or not?"
Watch Chappelle's video below.