Dave Chappelle Doubles Down On Anti-Wokeness: ‘The More You Say I Can’t Say Something…’

Comedian Dave Chappelle has once again pushed back on so-called “woke” liberals who have complained that some of his most recent performances are transphobic.

According to Indie Wire, streaming giant Netflix has released “a 40-minute video, being deemed a stand-up special on the Netflix homepage, capturing Chappelle’s speech at his former high school for what should have been a theater renaming ceremony.”

The video, titled, “What’s In A Name?” features the comedian lecturing teens while also defending his past jokes aimed at LGBTQ individuals:

In “What’s in a Name?,” Chappelle calls his previous controversial Netflix stand-up special “The Closer” a misunderstood “masterpiece” and said he was “sincerely hurt” by the Duke Ellington School students after a tense Q&A held in November 2021 during which the adolescents voiced their concerns over his transphobic comments.

The comedian continued that the students’ comments have only fueled his desire to further make jokes at the expense of the LGBTQ+ community.

“The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it,” Chappelle explained. “It has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right and my freedom of artistic expression.

“It’s worth protecting for me, and it’s worth protecting for everyone else who endeavors in our noble professions. These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” Chappelle noted further.

Earlier this year, Netflix released the first special from Dave Chapelle’s Home Team, a series of comedy specials from other comedians produced by Chappelle, Forbes reported.

The report continued:

Netflix and Chappelle began their relationship in 2016, when it was reported the comedian agreed to produce three comedy specials for the streaming service for $20 million each. In 2017 Chappelle dropped four stand up episodes on the platform, Equanimity and The Bird Revelation, and The Age Of Spin and Deep In The Heart Of Texas.

In 2019 he released Sticks and Stones, in which he made several jokes about trans people. However, the special was Netflix’s most-popular stand-up content thus far, according to Vulture. Chappelle continued to joke about the trans community in 2021’s The Closer, which prompted an employee-led protest and intense outside backlash toward the comedian and Netflix, yet the special remained on the platform.

The disagreement between employees and leadership over the special left a lasting mark within the company, with anonymous former employees telling Vulture the conflict ended a culture where employee opinions could be voiced and heard. 

“After Dave Chappelle, the lines of communication that had been open for years were gone,” one former employee complained.

In May following the ruckus, Netflix updated its corporate culture guidelines, telling employees they “may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful” and if they cannot, “Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

More recently Chappelle earned the respect and praise of his neighbors when he bought an entire plot of land in order to stop a housing project that was widely opposed by most residents because it would have been congested and troublesome.

According to reports, neighbors cheered him after he bought an entire 52-acre lot near his home to block a 140-home development that would have resulted in massive crowding.

“I have confirmation that Dave Chappelle bought the entire lot. We are talking about all the 52 acres,” village manager Josue Salmeron told the Daily Mail. “To me it is clear, the project isn’t going forward. The developers will not be building on that land.”

“Signs proclaiming ‘Thanks Dave!’ now festoon several properties near the site, which is comprised of a large open field and acres of woodland in an area that could be comfortably described as pastoral bliss,” the Daily Mail added.


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