Dave Chappelle ‘More Than Willing’ to Meet With Trans Community About His Special

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Dave Chappelle has addressed the backlash against his special The Closer, which has been criticized as transphobic hate speech and prompted trans employees and allies at Netflix to stage a walkout. “I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My god, how could I not?” Chappelle said in a five-minute clip uploaded to his Instagram. The comedian noted that he was “more than willing” to meet with the trans community, but clarified to the cheering audience in front of him that he is “not bending to anybody’s demands.” A meeting would only happen, he said, if attendees agree to watch his entire special first, let him set the time and location, and admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny. (Gadsby previously condemned the special, as well as Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos’s initial response to employee concerns.)

In the video, Chappelle claimed that the controversy actually has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community, and instead is about “corporate interests, and what I can say and what I cannot say.” According to the comedian, because of The Closer, film festivals have rescinded invitations for the documentary he filmed in 2020 that includes footage of outdoor shows he put on during the pandemic. “Now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film,” he said, taking the opportunity to then announce and promote upcoming screenings of it in ten cities across the country. “You cannot have this conversation and exclude my voice from it. That is only fair,” he concluded. “You have to answer the question. Am I canceled or not?” Watch the clip below to hear Chappelle’s full remarks.

Dave Chappelle’s ‘More Than Willing’ to Meet Trans Community