Dave Chappelle says he won't be 'bending to anyone's demands' over trans jokes controversy, pans Hannah Gadsby

Dave Chappelle says he won't be 'bending to anyone's demands' over trans jokes controversy, pans Hannah Gadsby
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dave chappelle the closer
Dave Chappelle in "The Closer." Netflix
  • Dave Chappelle posted a video addressing criticism of his recent comedy special, "The Closer."

  • Chappelle sparked controversy by defending JK Rowling over her comments about the trans community.

  • Chappelle said that the controversy has blocked his documentary from appearing in film festivals.

Dave Chappelle posted a video on Instagram addressing the critics of his recent Netflix comedy special.

In "The Closer," Chappelle defended JK Rowling over her TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) comments, said, "gender is a fact" and described himself as "Team TERF." Chappelle has faced backlash in the past for his jokes about trans people.

In a video posted on Monday announcing the screenings of his upcoming "Untitled" documentary, Chappelle in front of a live audience addressed Netflix employees' walkout last week and the general criticism of his special.

"It's been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused," he began the video. "That is not true. If they had invited me, I would have accepted it. Although I am confused about what we're speaking about. I said what I said and boy I heard what you said."

"You said you wanted a safe working environment at Netflix. Well, it seems like I'm the only one who can't go into the office anymore," he joked to an applauding audience.

He added: "To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anyone's demands.

"And if you want to meet with me, I am more than willing to, but I have some conditions," he continued.

"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, another comedian who has worked with Netflix, recently criticized its co-CEO Ted Sarandos for using her as an example to show the streamer has a variety of views in an internal memo defending Chappelle's special, The Verge revealed.

"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," she wrote. "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 $20m to process his emotionally stunted partial world view."

During his Instagram video, Chappelle said that the media was trying to spin his controversy into a fight between him and the LGBTQ community when he believes the argument is about corporate censorship.

He also said that multiple film festivals had "disinvited" him after the controversy surrounding his Netflix special, prompting him to host special screenings in 10 cities in America and Canada so people can see his "Untitled" documentary.

"Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he's the only one that didn't cancel me yet," Chappelle added.

Sarandos has since apologized for his memo telling Variety that he "should have led with a lot more humanity" but still thinks the special should stay on the platform. However, a former Netflix employee who helped organize the walkout last week tweeted that Sarandos "still misses the point" that the walkout is about "more trans content, investment in trans talent, and promoting trans content."

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