Comedian and Yellow Springs resident Dave Chappelle is finally, pointedly addressing the controversy his anti-transgender comments and jokes have caused.
The storytelling comedian currently is under fire for his Oct. 5 Netflix special The Closer, in which he intentionally misgenders a transgender friend who had died. In the special, Chappelle also defends Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her series of ongoing transphobic remarks and positions.
In the same show, Chappelle declares himself "Team TERF" ("trans-exclusionary radical feminist," or, more simply, someone who supports women but not trans women) and compares trans women's genitalia to "Beyond" products, a meat substitute, implying that they are not "real" genitalia. He also claims to have never made explicit anti-trans jokes and that members of the LGBTQ+ community had "punched down" on "my people" like Kevin Hart, a Black comedian who has made homophobic jokes and tweets over the years.
Netflix employees recently staged a walk-out to protest Chappelle's anti-trans jokes as well as his ongoing anti-cancel-culture comedy sets, Vox reports.
A few days ago, after an activist had reportedly claimed that Chappelle turned down a discussion with members of the trans community, Chappelle's representatives said that the comedian is open to a conversation with Netflix employees, according to Oct. 21 reports from Deadline and TMZ.
"Dave stands by his art: No more jokes about transgenders until we can all laugh together," a representative reportedly told TMZ (according to many people within the trans community, "transgender" should be used as an adjective and not as a noun as Chappelle's rep reportedly did). "The streets are talking and Dave is listening. At some point, when everyone is open, I'm sure the communities will come together."
But now, Chappelle is using his own words to address the situation. In a video of a recent set posted to his Instagram account on Monday, Chappelle says, "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 continues. “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."
Earlier this month, Gadsby, a comedian who is a lesbian, had loudly criticized Chappelle's The Closer because of his remarks about LGBTQ+ people. Gadsby also has had stand-up comedy specials on Netflix and was singled out as "evidence" of diversity by the streaming platform's CEO Ted Sarandos in his defense of Chappelle.
Gadsby has said that Chappelle's fans have been harassing her.
"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," she said on Instagram.
Watch Chappelle's Instagram video below.
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