During a gig in Nashville on Sunday (October 24) Dave Chappelle responded to critics over his Netflix special The Closer during which he delivered controversial jokes aimed at transgender people.
The comedian said he’ll meet with “the transgender community” that takes issue with his jokes about trans people, but is “not bending to anybody’s demands.” Video of Chappelle’s remarks were posted to his own Instagram account.
“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me,” he said during his standup. “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.”
Part of the video Chappelle, who appeared in Nashville alongside Joe Rogan and other comedians, shared via IG shows him asking audiences if he’s “canceled or not?”
"It's been said in the press that I was invited to speak with transgender employees at Netflix and I refused," Chappelle said at the beginning of the five-minute clip. "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."
Chappelle added that the criticism he’s received is over “corporate interest” and that the LGBTQ community shouldn’t be blamed by his supporters.
"I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it as though it's me versus that community, that's not what it is,” he said. “Do not blame the LBGTQ [sic] community for any of this s**t. This has nothing to do with them. It's about corporate interest and what I can say and what I cannot say."
Dave Chappelle also claims the fallout from his latest Netflix special has affected his upcoming documentary, Dave Chappelle: Untitled, saying, “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. Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”
Chappelle’s latest comments come after Trans employees at Netflix and their allies participated in a walkout on October 21 in reaction to The Closer.
Activist Ashlee Marie Preston, who is a Black trans woman and organized the walk-out, told PEOPLE she previously reached out to Chappelle after his 2019 special Sticks & Stones.
"If Dave were truly willing to come to the table, I would sit at it and respectfully have the conversation," Preston said.
Before the walk out, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said he “screwed” up in addressing employee concerns and also added “I should have led with a lot more humanity.”
Sarandos maintains Netflix has no plans to remove the special.
Watch the full video Chappelle posted below.