Dave Chappelle has responded to the controversy surrounding his latest standup special, saying he would meet with Netflix's transgender employees about it while dismissing the outrage as "nonsense."
The comedian on Monday addressed the backlash over jokes about the LGBTQ community in his Netflix special The Closer, sharing a video on Instagram in which he discusses the controversy during a standup set. Chappelle denied declining an invitation to speak with Netflix's transgender employees about the special.
"If they had invited me, I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about," Chappelle said. "I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not?"
Chappelle has been facing criticism over numerous jokes about LGBTQ people in his special The Closer, during which he says he's "team TERF," meaning trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Netflix employees recently staged a walkout in protest of the special. In the video shared Monday, Chappelle argued the controversy has "nothing to do with" the LGBTQ community and is instead about "corporate interests, and what I can say and what I cannot say." He added, "Everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supporting, so I don't know what all this nonsense is about."
Speaking to the transgender community, Chappelle said he's "more than willing to give you an audience" but that "you will not summon me" and "I am not bending to anybody's demands." He also said he has "some conditions" for such a meeting, including that it happens in "a place of my choosing at a time of my choosing" and that anyone who takes part in it has "watched my special from beginning to end." After comedian Hannah Gadsby recently blasted Netflix for releasing The Closer, Chappelle hit back by joking that another condition of the meeting is "you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny."