In a new standup video, Dave Chappelle says he’s open to speaking with Netflix’s trans employees about the transphobic comments he made in his Netflix comedy special, The Closer.
“It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused. That is not true,” he says in the clip.
However, it seems he still doesn’t completely get why people were so alarmed and hurt by his words, saying, “If they had invited me I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about. I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not? You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I’m the only one who can’t go to the office.”
He adds, “I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that’s not what it is. Do not blame the LGBTQ community for any of this. It’s about corporate interests, and what I can say, and what I cannot say.”
He also says, “To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”
He continues, “And if you want to meet with me, I am more than willing to, but I have some conditions: first of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end. You must come to a place of my choosing and time of my choosing. And thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.
He additionally claims that some of his own trans friends had no problem with his comments, saying, “For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been loving and supportive, so I don’t know what this nonsense is about.”
This video comes a week after Netflix employees and stars like Jonathan Van Ness, Jameela Jamil, and Angelica Ross—participated in and supported a walkout, protesting Netflix’s mishandling of the situation, as well as the firing of employee B. Pagels-Minor. Pagels-Minor was accused of leaking confidential information about the comedy special and an internal memo from co-CEO Sarandos, in which he stood by Chappelle’s comments. (Sarandos later admitted he “screwed up.”) Pagels-Minor denies being responsible for the leak.
The backlash doesn’t seem to have harmed Chappelle’s career much. The comedian has a tour coming up in November.