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Dave Chappelle always had the advantage in facing down his critics. Not only is he world-famous and wealthier than a few nations, the comedian has a secret weapon. Chappelle is funny; his critics are not.
Whatever he said in his most recent Netflix special, “The Closer,” the knives were going to be out. Instead of following a bloodless script pre-approved by progressive censors, he speaks his mind and often reveals uncomfortable truths. That makes him dangerous. Woke activists insist that every celebrity bend the knee and Chappelle isn’t one for bending. He wouldn’t knuckle under to Comedy Central suits and certainly won’t bow to midlevel Netflix dresses.
Let’s be honest: the mostly white media has stoked a weeks-long controversy to bludgeon an uppity black man until he agrees with white gender theorists.
Via Instagram, Chappelle responded to his critics from the stand-up stage.
“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 — if they had invited me I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about,” Chappelle said in the video. “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 that can’t go to the office anymore.”
“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that is not what it is. Do not blame the LBGTQ [sic] community for any of this [expletive]. This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say,” Chappelle said. “For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been loving and supporting, so I don’t know what all this nonsense is about.”
He saved his best line for the end.
Though Chappelle said he was willing to meet with members of the trans community, he jokingly listed off a slew of conditions that would have to be met: “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. And if you want to meet with me, I’d be 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 at a time of my choosing, and thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.”
Netflix is the only reason anyone’s heard of Australian anti-comedian Hannah Gadsby. Cultural tastemakers celebrated her unfunny 2017 special “Nanette” because it was unfunny. That didn’t stop her from condemning the streaming service as an “amoral algorithm cult.”
“I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess,” Gadsby lectured Netflix head Ted Sarandos. “Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chapelle’s [sic] fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view [sic].”
No one was surprised Gadsby’s Instagram post was as unfunny as her stand-up. From my review of “Nanette” at the time:
She complains about her industry. She harangues cis white males. She blasts her fans for wanting even more “lesbian-based content.” And, despite having a hit Netflix special, she complains about her marginalization.
Much of her past work focused on self-deprecating jokes, but that’s now a no-no. “Do you understand what self-deprecation means when it comes from someone who already exists in the margins?” she says. “It’s not humility. It’s humiliation. I put myself down in order to speak, in order to seek permission to speak, and I simply will not do that anymore.”
That’s not humility or humiliation, it’s comedy. People quickly identify with comedians who make themselves the butt of the joke. A few punchlines in, the audience realizes how much they have in common with the fellow human on stage trying to figure out life and often failing. Soon, the audience is laughing with the comedian and at themselves.
Growing increasingly angry as her set rolls on, Gadsby repeatedly insists, “I need to tell my story!”
No. You don’t.
The audience isn’t your therapist, it’s a bunch of stressed-out customers paying you to help them forget their own harrowing stories for an hour or so.
Thankfully, Dave Chappelle has won the battle. For an artist to be canceled, they have to 1) have done something wrong, and 2) accept their cancelation. Chappelle has done neither and instead told the humorless Wokies to get stuffed.Published in