The saga of controversy that’s resulted from Dave Chappelle’s very viral Netflix standup special, “The Closer,” has practically been unfolding daily since it premiered just over two weeks ago.
The backlash stems from jokes Chappelle made that many people in the LGBTQ+ community deemed as transphobic, leading to an employee walkout by some staff members at Netflix that also took offense to co-CEO Ted Sarandos for defending the stand-up special in a company-wide email.
The walkout did indeed occur as planned on October 20, met by counter-protesters in support of Chappelle’s free speech, with activist Ashlee Marie Preston voicing the following during the protest:
“I thank all of you for being here in support of the employees at Netflix of trans and non-binary experience and their allies and accomplices. I think the message that many people expect for us to deliver today is one around ‘why it’s important to cancel Dave Chappelle.’ And so I want to make it very clear, 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 that it is not of interest to him. So just to be clear, this isn’t cancel culture but an avoidance of accountability when we’ve invited you to be a part of the repair that it takes to not only hear a culture but to move all of us forward.”
While much of what Preston said above is worth applauding, TMZ was able to get an exclusive message from representatives of the “Chappelle’s Show” creator that actually contradicts the claim that he’s been unresponsive to the discussion. In contrast, his camp confirmed that he was never approached by anyone on the matter at hand and isn’t opposed to open dialogue with any group.
Although it’s also been rumored that Chappelle told attendees during a recent show at London’s Eventim Apollo theater that he’d embark on a 10-city U.S. tour if “The Closer” got removed from Netflix, we just hope there can be a resolution reached soon by both parties. Each side has valid points, and at this point, a neutral conversation could be the key to resolving the ongoing war.
Let us know which side of the “The Closer” controversy you agree with.