Dave Chappelle Says He Stands By What He Said In "The Closer" But Is Willing To Discuss It With The Transgender Community

    "I am not bending to anybody’s demands."

    Dave Chappelle is willing to have an open conversation with the transgender community — but he has some conditions.

    Dave attends a red carpet event

    The comedian, who has faced backlash following controversial statements in his new Netflix special The Closer, spoke out about the situation during a recent stand-up set.

    While he remained unapologetic about the special, he said he would like to speak with the Netflix employees who were upset by his comments and staged a walkout last week.

    A close-up of Dave wearing sunglasses and looking to the side

    "It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused. That is not true — if they had invited me I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about,” Dave said.

    Dave speaks into a microphone

    He continued, "I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My god, how could I not? You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore."

    A close-up of Dave

    Dave added that while he is "more than willing" to give the transgender community an audience, he will not be "summoned."

    Protestors outside the Netflix headquarters

    "I am not bending to anybody’s demands. And if you want to meet with me, I’d be more than willing to, but I have some conditions. 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," Dave explained.

    Dave attends a red carpet event

    He later added that he does not truly believe that the issue is between himself and the transgender community, and it is more about "corporate interests."

    Dave speaks in front of a Netflix sign

    “Even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that is not what it is. Do not blame the LBGTQ [sic] community for any of this shit. This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say,” Dave said.

    Dave attends a red carpet event

    He even noted that everyone he knows from "that community" has been "loving and supporting" — leading him to feel as though he doesn't know "what all this nonsense is about."

    Dave speaks into a microphone

    He also revealed that since people began speaking out against his special, his upcoming documentary about his summer 2020 comedy tour has been turned down and excluded from film festivals.

    A close-up of Dave wearing sunglasses

    "This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States, and some of those invitations I accepted. When this controversy came out about The Closer, they began disinviting me from these film festivals. And now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film," Dave shared.

    Dave attends a red carpet event

    "Thank god for Ted Sarandos and Netflix; he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet," Dave concluded.

    Dave attends a Netflix event

    Listen to all that Dave had to say below.

    If you or someone you know has experienced anti-LGBTQ violence or harassment, you can contact the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs hotline at 1-212-714-1141.