American comedian Dave Chappelle finally fought back against the campaign led by Netflix’s trans employees and his community to cancel him, and said he doesn’t plan to “bend to anyone’s demands.”
“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,” Chappelle told his Nashville audience in a video posted on his Instagram.
“This has nothing to do with them,” he continued. “It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say.”
Chappelle said that companies, festivals and film production companies have refused to play his latest special, titled The Closer, for fear that the cancel culture will take a toll on them, and he thanked Netflix for putting up with the criticism.
The comedy icon made it clear to his audience that all of his friends and loved ones who are part of “that community” have shown their support during these times.
In his new material, he said that Netflix’s trans employees say they want “a peaceful work environment,” but that they are the ones who prevent him from “getting to the office on a daily basis,” referring to the effort they have made to cancel his show.
Furthermore, Chappelle stated that he would be happy to meet with them, but added that they will have to abide by his terms. “You will not summon me, I am not bending to anybody’s demands,” he said.
“First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end. 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 comedian who also has a special on Netflix titled “Nanette.”
Chappelle doesn’t back down: “I said what I said.”
After joking about the requirements for meeting with trans people who want to cancel, Chappelle said he doesn’t know what the topic of conversation would be if it eventually happened.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Finally, the celebrated comedian said it’s impossible to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t want to listen to you, and invited everyone to watch The Closer before taking a position on the matter.