Dave Chappelle to perform at Netflix comedy festival after trans jokes backlash

Dave Chappelle
(Image credit: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

After the uproar over his new Netflix special, Dave Chappelle is among those set to perform at the streamer's star-studded comedy festival in 2022.

Netflix on Monday confirmed the line-up for its Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival, which will be held over 11 days in Los Angeles next year, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline report. The festival was originally set for 2020 but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100 comedians are scheduled to perform, including Chappelle, whose latest Netflix comedy special The Closer was released in October.

Netflix was met with backlash over the special, in which Chappelle tells numerous controversial jokes about transgender people. At one point, he describes himself as "team TERF," a term meaning trans-exclusionary radical feminist, as he says that "gender is a fact." The special prompted an employee walkout at Netflix, but the streamer has stood by Chappelle.

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"We don't allow titles [on] Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe The Closer crosses that line," Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in October.

Sarandos later said he "screwed up" in his initial response to the controversy by not leading "with a lot more humanity." Chappelle in October dismissed the controversy as "nonsense," and he thanked Netflix for supporting him, claiming Sarandos is the "only one that didn't cancel me yet."

Other comedians set to perform at the Netflix Is A Joke festival include Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, David Letterman, and Chris Rock. Absent from the line-up, Deadline noted, was comedian Hannah Gadsby, who was originally announced as one of the performers before the festival was postponed last year. Gadsby has released her comedy specials Nanette and Douglas through Netflix, but she slammed the streamer for releasing Chappelle's The Closer, writing to Sarandos on Instagram, "F--- you and your amoral algorithm cult."

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