Dave Chappelle Says He's Open to Sitting Down With Netflix Employees Upset By His Transgender Jokes
By Paige Gawley
This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.
If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.
Dave Chappelle Addresses Trans Community Controversy
Lindsay Lohan Engaged to Boyfriend Bader Shammas
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello Call it Quits After 2 Years Toge…
Vanessa Hudgens on 'Princess Switch 4' Rumors, 'High School Musi…
Watch Joe Jonas and Niall Horan Go Undercover and Roast Each Oth…
'Outer Banks' Stars Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline Break Up
‘The Family Chantel’: See the Family React to Jah and Winter’s E…
'The Family Chantel’: Pedro Has Difficulty Talking to His Family…
Idris Elba on Bringing Representation to the Western Genre in ‘T…
Why Don't We on New Era and Moving Past Industry Trauma (Exclusi…
Gal Gadot Reacts to Landing 'Iconic' Evil Queen Role in Live-Act…
Stephen Merchant Wants to Do ‘Office’ Reunion But Thinks Reboot …
'Fixer to Fabulous': Dave and Jenny Marrs Give Back to Orphanage…
Why Jeannie Mai Wants Baby’s Sex to Be a Surprise (Exclusive)
'Diana, The Musical' Cast on Which Royals They Think Will Watch …
‘SNL’: Pete Davidson Mocks Aaron Rodgers' Vaccine Controversy Wi…
Hilary Duff Calls Kim Cattrall a ‘Force’ on the 'How I Met Your …
Jessica Alba on the Importance of Breaking Stigma Around Mental …
Colton Underwood Opens Up About His Coming Out and Teases New Ne…
Dave Chappelle is willing to talk. After Netflix employees staged a walk-out in reaction to comments in the 48-year-old comedian's recent special, The Closer, his rep tells ET that he is open to speaking to those who work at the streaming giant that are upset by his jokes.
"Dave stands by his art. Both sides of the street are talking, and Dave is listening. At some point, when everyone is open, I’m sure our communities will come together," Chappelle's rep says. "As Dave said in his special, 'No more jokes about transgenders until we can all laugh together.'"
"I can confirm that neither Dave or I received any direct contact from Ashlee Marie Preston about the walk-out protest," the rep adds of the organizer of Wednesday's protest.
At the protest, however, Preston told reporters that she had reached out to the comedian.
"This isn't an instance of cancel culture, because I've invited Dave Chappelle to have transformative dialogue with us on multiple occasions and he has made it clear it is not of interest to him," Preston said. "Just to be clear, this isn't cancel culture, but avoidance of accountability."
The controversy began when The Closer hit Netflix earlier this month. In the special, Chappelle says that "gender is a fact," adding, "Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth."
Chappelle also identified himself as "Team TERF," which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, an ideology that excludes trans women as women.
Amid the swirling criticism, Chappelle spoke about cancel culture during a sold-out show at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl, multiple outlets reported.
"If this is what being canceled is like, I love it," he told his applauding audience, according to Deadline. "I don't know what to tell you, except I'm a bad motherf**ker."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, at one point the comedian said, "F**k Twitter. F**k NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid a** networks. I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to you. This is real life.”
After Chappelle spoke about cancel culture, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos sent out an internal memo defending the special, which was obtained by Variety.
"With The Closer, we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.)," Sarandos wrote in part, according to the outlet. "Last year, we heard similar concerns about 365 Days and violence against women. While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm."
Shortly thereafter, one day ahead of the Netflix employees' walk-out, Sarandos told the same outlet that he "screwed up that internal communication," but continued to defend Netflix's decision to keep Chappelle's special on the platform.
"Sometimes, there will be things on Netflix that you dislike. That you even find to be harmful," he said in part. "Where we’ll definitely draw the line is on something that would intentionally call for physically harming other people or even remove protections. For me, intent to cause physical harm crosses the line, for sure."
As for The Closer, Sarandos said, "Under the definition of 'does it intend to cause physical harm?' I do not believe it falls into hate speech."
While Rose McGowan said "whiny" Netflix employees participating in the walk-out were displaying "fake activism and obnoxious self-importance," many other celebrities -- including Elliot Page, Dan Levy, Angelica Ross, Jameela Jamil, Colton Haynes, Billy Eichner, Mason Alexander Park, Sara Ramírez, and Jonathan Van Ness -- disagreed and publicly supported the protest in a video PSA released by Team Trans*.
"I stand with the trans, nonbinary, and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace," Page tweeted alongside the video, with Levy writing that "transphobia is unacceptable and harmful."