Dave Chappelle has addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding his latest Netflix special, The Closer. In the special, the veteran comedian makes several jokes about transgendered people, defends J.K. Rowlings’ anti-trans comments, and goes as far to declare himself “Team TERF” (TERF is the acronym for a trans-exclusionary radical feminist).
Chappelle’s comments were met with immense criticism and last week, members of Netflix’s LGBTQ+ community staged a walkout in protest of the streamer’s decision to stand behind the comedian.
Over the weekend, Chappelle spoke about at the controversy at the end of his standup show in Nashville, and he has now uploaded video of his remarks to Instagram.
Chappelle began by disputing the claim that he declined an invitation to speak with LGBTQ+ staffers at Netflix. “If they had invited me, I would have accepted it,” he said.
“Although I am confused about what we’re speaking about,” Chappelle continued. “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. Well, it seems like I’m the only one who can’t go to the office anymore.”
In Chappelle’s mind, the real controversy is not over what he said about the LGBTQ+ community, but because of his willingness to say it in the first place. “I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames this as me vs. [the LGBTQ+] community, that’s 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 nothing but loving and supportive, so I don’t know what all this nonsense is about.”