Dave Chappelle responds to trans row over his Netflix comedy special The Closer
Dave Chappelle has labelled the backlash to his comments about transgender people in his Netflix comedy special as “nonsense”.
The US comedian previously 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.
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.
Chappelle hit back at criticism of his comments 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,” Chappelle said in the clip.
“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.”
Chappelle 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.
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.”
Netflix’s co-chief executive Ted Sarandos has previously backed Chappelle and refused calls to pull The Closer from the service and said in an internal memo it did not cross “the line on hate”.
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.