By Danny R. Johnson – Entertainment News Editor
HOLLYWOOD–Comedian Dave Chappelle, whose latest Netflix special has sparked a transgender backlash, has hit back at those he says want to “cancel” him.
Chappelle posted on Instagram that he was willing to meet members of the transgender community, amid criticism his comedy show was transphobic.
He also invited viewers to decide whether he had been “canceled.”
It comes after a small protest last week outside the Netflix headquarters in Los Angeles.
Critics have taken offense at Chappelle’s Netflix special, The Closer, in which he says, “gender is a fact” and that LGBT people are “too sensitive.”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos apologized for managing. Following the controversy surrounding his Netflix special “The Closer,” Dave Chappelle is working to change the narrative, targeting corporations and not the transgender community he aimed at in his latest special.
“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames this that it’s me versus that community, which is not what it is,” Chappelle said in a video on his Instagram Monday, during a recording of a recent live set. “Do not blame the LBGTQ (sic) community for any of this (expletive). This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interest, and what I can say, and what I cannot say.” The special led to a Netflix employee walkout and confrontations between Chappelle fans and trans rights advocates.
“For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supporting,” Chappelle continued. “So, I don’t know what all this nonsense is about.”
According to CNN, Chappelle’s video, posted on his Instagram account on Monday, was filmed at his performance in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday. It was his first public reaction to critics since his special debuted on October 5. He appeared at the show alongside popular podcaster Joe Rogan.
“It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to transgender employees at Netflix, and I refused,” Chappelle, 48, told the audience.
‘I can finally be who I’ve always been.’ “That is not true. If they had invited me, I would have accepted it. Although I am confused about what we are speaking about… You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. Well, it seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore.”
“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience,” he continued. “But you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”
He also denied that he conflicted with the LGBT community, saying, “this has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say.”
Last week Netflix reported record subscriber numbers of 213.5 million globally.
Chappelle also said the special had led to him being disinvited from showing his latest documentary, Untitled, at film festivals.
“Today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival… will touch this film,” he said, calling on people to see his new film and decide, “am I canceled or not?”