Controversial comedian Dave Chappelle took to Instagram Monday to give his first on-camera response to the controversy surrounding his Netflix special The Closer, which some have derided as being transphobic and hateful against LGBTQ+ people.
The special was so controversial, it spurred a walkout of Netflix employees and their supporters including a ” list of asks” they wanted to happen at the company going forward.
A representative for Chappelle previously said the comedian is willing to meet with Netflix employees, but they never received an invite to talk. This was contrary to what Ashlee Marie Preston, the activist who organized the walkout, previously stated. Preston said she invited Chappelle but was ignored.
Now Chappelle is making an on-camera response publicly, the first time doing so directly since the walkout happened last week. Check out the post from a segment of Chappelle’s recent standup, which he posted to his Instagram, below:
Chappelle was unapologetic about The Closer in the new video, reiterating again that he’s willing to meet with transgender Netflix employees or other members of the trans community, but that he won’t bend “to anybody’s demands.”
“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…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 went on to say that he doesn’t blame the LGBTQ+ community for the controversy, but believes “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,” he said.
Chappelle also claimed that an upcoming documentary about his summer 2020 comedy tour has now been excluded from some film festivals because of the controversy. He said he plans to screen the film in 10 cities — and listed the cities and dates in the post.