At a screening for Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary earlier this month, the eponymous comic told the adoring crowd, “If this is what being canceled is about, I love it.” In a new Instagram video, Chappelle seems to be changing his tune. The comic addresses the controversy still swirling around his Netflix special The Closer and takes the opportunity to take a verbal swing at another comic — Hannah Gadsby — who was recently dragged into the firestorm.
The video, posted on Monday, begins with Dave Chappelle denying claims that he was invited to speak to Netflix’s transgender employees. The comic says he would’ve accepted such an invitation, though he doesn’t know what it would serve. He says he’s heard the employees’ complaints, adding, “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.” You can watch the video below.
By saying he’s not welcome at the Netflix office, Dave Chappelle seems to be referring to the demands made by the company’s trans resource group last week before their walkout. However, those demands — as reported by The Verge — did not include barring Chappelle or anyone else from the Netflix’s office. The group did, however, ask for the elimination of “references/imagery of transphobic titles or talent inside of the workplace, including but not limited to murals, posters, room names, swag.”
Dave Chappelle goes on to urge his supporters to not blame the LGBTQ community, adding that everyone he knows “from that community has been loving and supportive, so I don’t know what this nonsense is about.” Chappelle then starts talking about ways his career has been impacted by the controversy. He says all the movie studios and film festivals that had been eagerly talking to him about Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary have since shut their doors. “Thank God for Ted Sarand0s and Netflix,” the comic said. “He’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”
Dave Chappelle continued that he was “more than willing” to give the transgender community an audience, adding “you will not summon me. I am not bending to anyone’s demands.” He said he had conditions for such an “audience,” including that no one could attend who hadn’t watch The Closer from beginning to end, that it would be a time and place of his choosing, and that finally “you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.”
Ironically, the only reason the Emmy-winning Hannah Gadsby is likely on Dave Chappelle’s mind is because of Gadsby’s Instagram message to Sarandos earlier this month, in which she expressed a lot of anger at being pulled into the Chappelle controversy. In response to the leak of an internal memo in which Sarandos referred to Gadsby and Chappelle in the same sentence as being part of the “marginalized communities” he wants Netflix programming to represent, Gadsby lashed out. Among other things, she referred to the hate aimed at her by Chappelle fans “every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.” Putting a spin on the pro-Chappelle defenders, Gadsby ended the message with, “Fuck you and our amoral algorithm cult..I do shits with more back bone than you. That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because you just told the world there isn’t one.”