Dave Chappelle has spoken out about the controversy over his Netflix special “The Closer” in a new standup video, saying that he is willing to meet with the transgender employees of the streamer but won’t bend “to anyone’s demands.”
In the video, Chappelle remained unapologetic about the contents of the special, which some accused of containing transphobic and homophobic remarks, saying: “I said what I said.”
“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 — if they had invited me I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about,” Chappelle said in the video. “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.”
Chappelle further claimed that the situation was about “corporate interests” and said that the members of the LGBTQ+ community that he knows have been supportive of him.
“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,” Chappelle said. “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.”
Chappelle also spoke about his upcoming documentary about his summer 2020 shows, saying, “This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States. 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.”
However, Chappelle maintained that he is not “bending to anyone’s demands,” saying: “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. 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.”
Watch the full video below.