After Netflix employees staged a walkout over Dave Chappelle’s comedy special, the comedian says he’s willing to sit down and explain his jokes to the upset staffers.
There’s been backlash at Netflix over all the transgender jokes Chappelle made in his sixth Netflix comedy special, The Closer. As the company heads refuse to pull the special from the platform a number of Netflix employees are rebelling.
But a representative for Chappelle said the five-time Emmy winner is open to a dialogue with the Netflix employees.
“Dave stands by his art. Both sides of the street are talking and Dave is listening,” a rep told People. “At some point, when everyone is open, I’m sure our communities will come together.”
Transgender activist Ashlee Marie Preston was behind the Netflix walkout and protest on Wednesday and claimed Chappelle was invited to speak with the upset staffers about the harm they feel his special has inflicted on the trans community.
“Dave Chappelle was not ‘canceled.’ He’s been invited to the table for transformative dialogue but won’t show up,” Preston wrote on Twitter last week. “That’s not ‘cancel culture,’ but an avoidance of accountability. He’s no victim. The man is worth $50M. Unlike many trans people his comedy stigmatizes—he’ll live.”
Dave Chappelle was not “canceled.” He’s been invited to the table for transformative dialogue but won’t show up. That’s not “cancel culture,” but an avoidance of accountability. He’s no victim. The man is worth $50M. Unlike many trans people his comedy stigmatizes— he’ll live.
— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) October 13, 2021
However, Chappelle’s rep said the comedian was never invited to a discussion but he is open to one. It comes after Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos changed his tune and said he “screwed up” when initially defending Chappelle’s special.
“I should have led with a lot more humanity,” Sarandos told Variety. “Meaning, I had a group of employees who were definitely feeling pain and hurt from a decision we made. And I think that needs to be acknowledged up front before you get into the nuts and bolts of anything. I didn’t do that. That was uncharacteristic for me.”