Dave Chappelle Breaks Silence On Netflix Special Controversey
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It seems legendary comedian Dave Chappelle has finally had enough of our bickering. After four weeks, a Netflix walkout, and pretty much the entire internet imploding in a digital screaming match (after evidently forgetting that it is both possible to care about more than one thing at a time and that contrary to popular belief, our heroes, no matter how many times they've made us nearly piss our pants laughing, are also mere mortals just like us), Chappelle has finally re-emerged from the lone, doomsday-grade nuclear bunker that could protect him from this absolute s--tstorm of the world breaking out into a series of knock-down drag-out digital debates. On Monday, Chappelle broke his silence with a new stand-up clip on Instagram – that was definitely not just a means of drumming up hype for his new documentary, "Untitled" -- where he addresses the aftermath of proclaiming himself a member of “Team TERF” (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, a.k.a. a community known for both their unflattering short bangs and for not believing the validity of trans identities).
Entitled “Stunted," the video manages to cover a whole lotta ground, but also like, a whole lotta nothing in roughly five-and-a-half minutes, featuring the star standing by his statement, reiterating his support for the LGBTQAI+ community, slamming corporatism, hyping up a Netflix exec and his new documentary, agreeing to speak with members of the trans community, taking a minute to absolutely dunk on comedian Hannah Gadsby, and most pertinently, asking the question on everybody's lips – is he canceled or not?
“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," Chappelle began the video, referencing activist Ashlee Marie Preston's recent statement to Variety alleging that the star turned down an invitation to speak with the Netflix employees who staged a walkout in protesting the special last Wednesday. "If they had invited me I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about,” he continued.
Even with his apparent willingness to talk it out, Chappelle seemingly still stood firmly by his statements. “I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not?" he explained. ”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.”
Despite singlehandedly stressing out his entire viewer base after raising serious concerns about who was looking after his (probable) garden of desk plants amid his apparent exile from the Netflix facilities, Chappelle quickly shifted the topic away from the wellbeing of his cubicle flora, blaming the controversy on “corporate interests."
“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 LBGTQ community for any of this s--t," he said, adding that “This has nothing to do with them.”
“It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say,” Chappelle continued. ”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.”
As such, he laid out the terms and conditions in which he'd hash it out with members of the LGBTQAI+ community. “First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end," he explained. “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,” he continued, referencing the comedian who told Netflix exec, Ted Sarandos “F--k you and your amoral algorithm cut" in a tweet following the special's aftermath.
Yet like most things in life, it seems as if Chappelle may have issued this statement for more than laying out the terms and conditions in which he'd speak his piece. Throughout the video, the comedian also spoke candidly about his upcoming documentary, and how the blowback made it tough for him to release the film. "Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet,” he said, moments before asking if he's canceled.
So although Chappelle may have found himself with a very modern problem, let's hope we can all find a modern solution – one that maybe leaves us all with important lessons about why TERFs need to stop with both their shitty haircuts and their bad takes on trans issues.
For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ on TikTok as @HuntressThompson_, and on Twitter @TennesAnyone – unless you're one of the several people sending death threats then pls stop.