Dave Chappelle is breaking his silence about the Netflix walkout over his comedy special, “The Closer,” and he’s not mincing any words.
In a new video released Monday on Instagram, Chappelle began by saying, “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.”
He then added that he doesn’t blame the LGBTQ community at large for the uproar. “This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say,” he 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.”
During the video, that was part of a live performance he gave in Nashville, he said he would be happy to meet with trans Netflix employees, but added they will have to meet his terms. “You will not summon me, I am not bending to anybody’s demands,” he said.
True to form, the 48-year-old’s demands showcased his characteristic sharp humor:
“First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end,” he said. “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.”
Gadsby is a lesbian comic whose critically-acclaimed Netflix special, “Nanette,” has been described as more a spoken-word performance than stand-up. Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che previously came under fire for seeming to imply that Gadsby doesn’t actually do comedy.
Chappelle also said that he doesn’t know what he and the disgruntled employees would talk about:
It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak with transgender employees at Netflix and I refused. That is not true. If they had invited me I would’ve accepted, although I am confused about what we’re speaking about.
I said what I said and boy, I heard what you said. My god, how could I not? You said you wanted a safe working environment at Netflix. Well, it seems like I’m the only one who can’t go to the office anymore.
Chappelle finished by saying, “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? Now let’s go.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, though the walkout received extensive media coverage and was predicted to draw “thousands” of pro-trans protestors, eager to show their displeasure with Netflix, in the end, only a few dozen activists showed up.