After Media Silence Among His Current Cancelation, Chappelle Tells Haters He Won’t Bend To Their Demands
We’re almost across the finish line with the recent controversy involving Netflix, Dave Chappelle, and transgender activists. After an unmoving employee walkout occurred at the streaming company’s Los Angeles office, consisting of more on-the-ground activists than actual employees, the activists fighting for social justice and equality did lay out exactly why they are boycotting and protesting: The transgender activists are using Chappelle’s standup special to cancel him, of course, but also for their own gain: They want a fund at Netflix to specifically develop transgender and non-binary talent (actors, writers, directors) and recruit transgender people, especially transgender people of color, for leadership roles within the company. This recent outrage has officially been proven to get transgender people seemingly on screen and having their stories told publicly. However, a quick glance at Netflix’s library allows you to witness many transgender characters and storylines have been in a handful of Netflix original shows, including series like Sense8, 13 Reasons Why, and Orange is the New Black. Regardless, the activists’ voices have been heard around the nation and perhaps this time have backed themselves into a corner by attacking Chappelle and his devoted fan base, who won’t back down for a spat. While Chappelle has been on a comedy tour recently, he hasn’t publicly addressed his drama until today.
Chappelle’s known for being on high alert during his public comedy shows. If you’re a visitor, it’s likely you’ll be required to give your phone to security upon arriving or there’s a common trust as his fanbase to not share what you’re viewing. Word kept popping around that the comedian was unphased by his ongoing cancelation, but that was never directly from him. Today, he posted a video from one of his comedy shows where he addresses the transgender community. Chappelle boldly tells us:
“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. I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that is not what it is. Do not blame the [LGBTQ] community for any of this shit. This has nothing to do with them. 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. 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 anybody’s demands. And if you want to meet with me, I’d be 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.”
Gadsby, if you aren’t familiar, is a gender-not-normal comedian who had a Netflix standup special that received 100% positive critic reviews but was absolutely destroyed with audience scores who don’t care for the comedian’s humor whatsoever.
In some way, Chappelle did get canceled – so those activists with lit torches can take a breath that they’ve accomplished some achievements. Chappelle goes on to say, in the same video, that a documentary of his 2020 comedy show tour was going to be released at various film festivals. Since the controversy started, a lot of those festivals have pulled his documentary from their lineup as he’s considered canceled and investors, producers, and the like are fearful of his protestors. Chappelle once again praised Netflix and leading executive, Ted Sarandos, for not allowing his special to be pulled from the platform.
You can check out Chappelle’s full statement on his recent controversy below:
Writer’s Note A: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.