Dave Chappelle is open to talking to the Netflix employees who are offended by his jokes on The Closer, his newest comedy special on the streaming platform.
The comedian’s rep reportedly told TMZ that he would be willing to have a discussion about the LGBTQ+ jokes if Netflix reaches out to him. However, Chappelle’s team said that no one from the company has spoken to him about setting up a conversation or meeting — which is contrary to what Ashlee Marie Preston, the woman who organized the Netflix walkout, alleged.
Preston previously said that she invited Chappelle to talk about the harm she and other people believe he caused to the LGBTQ+ community, but said, “Dave chose not to show up.”
Chappelle’s team has refuted those claims and told TMZ that he is not against speaking to any group about his commentary from The Closer.
As REVOLT previously reported, several members of the Netflix employee resource group Trans* and their supporters will take a “day of rest” in protest of Chappelle’s comments on The Closer. The comedian’s jokes have been criticized as being anti-trans and GLAAD and other groups have called for it to be drawn from Netflix.
Netflix, however, refused to remove the special from streaming. Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of the streaming giant, stated that Chappelle’s content will not increase violence against those in the LGBTQ+ community.
“The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last thirty years, especially with first party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries,” he said in an email to staff. “Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy — without it causing them to harm others.”
The company-wide walkout took place on Wednesday (Oct. 20) and Netflix ultimately supported any of their employees’ decision to participate. “We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused,” a Netflix spokesperson told ITK. “We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”