Dave Chappelle Releases Video Addressing Netflix Backlash, Says He Won’t ‘Bend To Anybody’s Demands’

chappelle the closer


  • Dave Chappelle’s newest Netflix special The Closer released on October 5.
  • The backlash to jokes Chappelle made about the LGTBQ community was immediate.
  • Chappelle recently released a video further addressing the controversy.

While it’s now been three weeks since the release of Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special The Closer, the controversy surrounding it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Last week, on October 20, disgruntled Netflix employees organized a walkout in protest of the special, with the organizers of the protest claiming that Chappelle was invited to speak and refused. Chappelle, however, denied this claim in a recent Instagram video:

“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,” Chappelle said in the video. “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.”

The 48-year-old stand-up comedy legend then claimed that “everyone” he knows from the LGBTQ community has been supportive of the jokes he made in his special The Closer.

“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 [sic] 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,” Chappelle said. “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.”

Chappelle then touched on how the controversy is impacting the release of his new documentary that detailed the stand-up shows he put on in rural Ohio during the summer of 2020.

“This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States and some of those invitations I accepted. When this controversy came out about ‘The Closer,’ they began disinviting me from these film festivals,” Chappelle claimed. “And now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film. Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”

Finally, Chappelle then said while he is willing to meet with the transgender community, it will have to be at a time and place of his choosing, as he refuses to be “summoned”:

“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.”

Where this controversy from here is anyone’s guess, as the goal of the protestors appears to be getting The Closer taken off Netflix, which is certainly something that CEO Ted Sarandos doesn’t seem like he’s keen on doing.

The Closer and Chappelle’s other Netflix stand-ups — The Age of Spin, Deep In The Heart of Texas, Equanimity, The Bird Revelation, Sticks & Stones, and 8:46 — are currently streaming.

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