Comedian Dave Chappelle addresses Netflix transgender controversy in full for first time

A man holds a placard as he attends a rally in support of the Netflix transgender employee walkout "Stand Up in Solidarity" to protest the streaming of comedian Dave Chappelle's new comedy special, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 20 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Comedian Dave Chappelle on Monday addressed the transgender controversy at Netflix in full for the first time on a video on his Instagram account, five days after about 100 people protested near the streaming company’s headquarters.

The employee backlash began after Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) decided to release Chappelle’s new comedy special, “The Closer,” which critics say ridicules transgender people.

“It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to transgender employees at Netflix and I refused,” Chappelle said in the video. “That is not true. If they had invited me I would have accepted it. Although I am confused about what we are speaking about … You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. Well it seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore.”

“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames this as me versus that community, it’s not what it is,” Chappelle said. “Do not blame the LBGTQ community for any of this shit. This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interest and what I can say and what I cannot say.”

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