Dave Chappelle hits out at cancel culture and 'nonsense' transphobia accusations

26 October 2021, 08:49 | Updated: 26 October 2021, 08:55

Dave Chappelle has been the centre of a transgender row
Dave Chappelle has been the centre of a transgender row. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Dave Chappelle has labelled the backlash to his comments about transgender people in his Netflix comedy special as "nonsense".

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Mr Chappelle said everyone he knew from the transgender community had been "nothing but loving and supportive" and branded the accusations "nonsense", in a video uploaded to Instagram on Monday.

"I said what I said and boy, I heard what you said - my God how could I not," said the comedian.

"You say you want a safe working environment at Netflix.

"Well it seems like I'm the only one that can't go to the office any more."

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He added: "For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supporting so I don't know what all this nonsense is about."

He also dismissed suggestions he had been invited to speak to transgender Netflix employees and said he would be happy to meet with them to discuss the issue - although he added he would not be "bending to anybody's demands".

The US comedian sparked controversy with his show The Closer, in which he said "gender is a fact" and shared his backing for JK Rowling, who has also attracted criticism for her comments about the concept of biological sex.

He also said LGBT people were "too sensitive".

Netflix employees are said to have reacted with fury to his comments and reportedly organised a walkout over the streaming giant's decision to air the special - something that many celebrities, including Jonathan Van Ness and Jameela Jamil, have shared their support for.

Netflix's co-chief executive Ted Sarandos has previously backed Chappelle and refused calls to pull The Closer from the service, saying in an internal memo it did not cross "the line on hate".

Read more: Carrie Johnson says PM is 'committed' to LGBT+ rights in speech at Tory conference

Read more: James O'Brien: 'What on earth is wrong with gender-neutral gear?'

In his video, Chappelle said the entertainment industry will not "touch" The Closer following the row.

"Thank God for Ted Sarandos at Netflix.

"He's the only one that didn't cancel me yet," Chappelle said.

Netflix have been asked for comment.

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