LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Following the controversy surrounding transphobic comments made by Dave Chappelle in his new Netflix special, the comedian said this week he is willing to meet with Netflix’s transgender employees, but only under certain conditions.
In a stand-up video posted to Chappelle’s Instagram account Monday, the 48-year-old Chappelle for the first time publicly discussed the situation.
“I want everyone in this audience to know, that even though the media frames this that it’s me versus that (LGBTQ) community,” Chappelle said. “That is not what it is. I do not blame the LGBTQ community for any of that s—. This has nothing to do with them. This is about corporate interests, and about what I can say, and what I cannot say.”
“For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supporting,” Chappelle went on. “So I don’t know what this nonsense is about.”
Chappelle’s special, “The Closer” released Oct. 5, has lead to major internal turmoil at Netflix, with many blasting the streaming service’s decision to carry it.
On Oct. 20, dozens of Netflix employees and their supporters staged a walkout in Hollywood to protest the purportedly transphobic comments and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ decision not to pull the special off the platform following the outcry.
“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,” Chappelle said.
Chappelle said the meeting will come with conditions.
“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 and a time of my choosing. And thirdly, you must admit, that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.”
The last comment was a swipe at Gadsby, a comedian who ripped Sarandos in an Instagram post Oct. 14 for the release of the Chappelle special.
Organizers of last week’s walkout said they plan to present Sarandos with a series of employee demands. They are also expected to demand to that the streaming service agree to release more content reflective of the LGBTQ community.