Dave Chappelle has spoken out again about the controversy he’s put himself in for hate speech directed at trans and LGBTQ+ people in his latest comedy special.
After Chappelle’s The Closer debuted on Netflix earlier this month, trans viewers and their allies immediately let out a communal groan when Chappelle started comparing trans women’s genitals to fake meat and declared himself “Team TERF.” (That's "trans-exclusionary radical feminist," for those who don't know.) The standup comic and current right-wing mouthpiece has included transphobic and homophobic jokes in several of his recent specials, making transphobia the main thing he’s in the news for these days.
And now, Chappelle is attempting to troll “the trans community” in his latest statement about the matter.
During a recent live performance, which he posted to his Instagram, Chappelle addressed the controversy and said he’s willing to talk to “the trans community” about the issue. Even though he is “confused about what we’re speaking about.”
“I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said,” he claimed, before he continued to show that he hasn’t listened or heard anything trans people have been saying. “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 would 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 and a time of my choosing. And thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.”
So who exactly is this “trans community” Chappelle has extended this invitation to? Can any trans person who meets his requirements talk to him? Does he think there’s a Trans Pope or Trans President who can speak for us?
He then talked about how a recent documentary he filmed of standup he did outdoors during the pandemic has been dropped from film festivals, saying that everyone but Netflix is trying to cancel him.
“You cannot have this conversation and exclude my voice from it. That is only fair. You have to answer the question: am I canceled or not?”
Chappelle also singled out Gadsby, a cisgender, lesbian comedian, because he apparently thinks that she is trans or every trans person’s favorite comic.
Fans of Chappelle are defending him, pointing to comments Gadsby made when her name was previously dragged into this controversy by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
“Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess,” she wrote. “Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chapelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally-stunted partial world view.”
When Gadsby first released her special Nanette on Netflix, some comedy fans said that it wasn’t funny like normal standup and that it was more like a TED Talk. That’s what Chappelle’s last few specials and appearances have been. Except instead of giving valuable information and insights, he sounds like your aging uncle who’s mad that the world is changing without him.
In this most recent clip, which saw Chappelle sitting on a stool ranting about “corporate interests” and being “canceled” instead of telling jokes, one can really see how far Chappelle has fallen. He was once considered one of the greatest comedians, now, he’s just a sad, sad man.