Dave Chappelle has spoken out about the backlash he’s received for his anti-trans commentary recently and how it made him feel.
In the latest episode of The Midnight Miracle podcast with Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli Tuesday (Jan. 24th), the stand-up comedian addressed the criticism he’s received for his remarks during his recent Netflix comedy specials (with The Closer drawing the most ire) targeting the trans community for hypocrisy.
“In a weird way, they had the intention of inciting violence against themselves for publicity,” he said.
Chappelle referenced the show that he did in Minneapolis, Minnesota last July as an example. Chappelle had to move the show from the First Avenue club to the Varsity Theater due to protests from staff members at First Avenue. The show was well received by the audience but was marred by protests outside of the venue.
“The trans [people] and their surrogates, always say that my jokes are somehow gonna be the root cause of some impending violence that they feel like is inevitable for my jokes,” he stated.
He continued: “But I gotta tell you, as abrasive as they were, the way they were protesting, throwing eggs at people, throwing barricades, cussing and screaming, [none of my fans] beat ‘em up. In fact, the people in the crowd would just say, ‘We love you. Like what are you talking about?’”
The 49-year-old then took aim at First Avenue’s handling of the situation, which included their issuing a statement of apology for booking him. “I was upset. I wasn’t mad that they canceled the show,” he said. “I was mad at the statement they released… You’re sorry? For booking me? What’s there to be sorry about is the position I was taking… I’m not even mad that they take issue with my work. Good, fine. Who cares? What I take issue with is the idea that because they don’t like it, I’m not allowed to say it.”
Chappelle elaborated further on that point, saying: “Everything seems absolute, and any opinion I respect is way more nuanced than these binary choices they keep putting in front of us. I don’t see the world in red or blue. Trying to silence a person like me, I don’t think it has anything to do with being loved. They want to be feared. ‘If you say this, then we will punish you.’”
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