Dave Chappelle doesn’t appear to be too bothered by the outrage stoked up over his latest comedy special which contained a slew of jokes about the trans community and LGBTQ people, finally addressing it – somewhat – in front of a sold-out audience in Los Angeles, California on Thursday night (October 7th).
“If this is what being canceled is about, I love it,” Chappelle said to a cheering audience of 18,000 (who had their phones locked up in magnetic pouches) at the Hollywood Bowl according to Deadline.
Fans were on hand to watch the documentary (tentatively titled The Get Up) about his comedic summer camp held on his farm out in Ohio last year. “I don’t know what to tell you, except I’m a bad mother***er,” he reportedly continued. Chappelle took some time to throw shots at the government and corporations as he took the stage, but he also expressed to the crowd that the key to healing divisions as he sees is that “we have to trust one another”.
That’s not to say that the comedian hasn’t been paying attention to the backlash online. At one point during his routine after a star-studded concert with Stevie Wonder, Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Lizzo, the crowd roared as he yelled out “F**k Twitter!!”
For his part, Chappelle apparently sees this as an opportunity to heal some wounds. “This is the kindness conspiracy,” he said during his remarks. It seems to be a continuation of the sentiment he had towards the end of The Closer, where he said to the trans and LGBTQ communities: “I am not telling another joke about you until we are both sure that we are laughing together,” he said. “All I ask from your community – with all humility – will you please stop punching down on my people?”
Chappelle’s jokes in The Closer have caused civil rights groups and activists to demand that the streaming giant shelve it with the National Black Justice Coalition and GLAAD being the most vocal. The controversy seems to have only bolstered the special’s popularity, with Netflix showing it as the fourth-most viewed program on their platform domestically to date.