Dave Chappelle: Celebs from Joe Rogan to Flame Monroe come out in support of comedian
Dave Chappelle is arguably one of the most talked-about comedians in the United States, making waves every time he drops a special. His latest Netflix show 'The Closer' has sparked outrage among critics, with The Daily Beast accusing him of “pointless transphobia and homophobia" and GLAAD calling out his alleged “anti-LGBTQ diatribes."
It recently emerged that some Netflix employees had joined hands with trans activists to stage a walkout in protest, aiming to present CEO Ted Sarandos with a list of "firm asks" after he previously defended both Chappelle and the platform for continuing to play the comedy special. However, now many prominent cultural figures have come out in support of the comedian, including fellow comedian Joe Rogan, Black trans comic Flame Monroe, politician Andrew Yang and several others.
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Rogan reacted to the firestorm by arguing that Chappelle was taken out of context as he made fun of "everyone". The reputed UFC commentator also lashed out at those equating humor with hatred. “He’s just riding out the storm. He’s not a homophobic or transphobic person. He makes fun of himself. It’s fun, it’s just making jokes. That doesn’t mean hate,” Rogan said in defense of Chappelle.
He continued, “This is the problem with today. If you don’t have an enemy, you make an enemy. As the level of people who truly hates you drops, you start looking for equilibrium and what you are upset about. And so now you’re more upset about jokes. Now silence is violence. And now you can’t just be this, you have to be that.”
Rogan also argued on his podcast that Chappelle isn't hateful. “If you get down to Dave Chappelle’s real feelings, he’s a lovely person,” he said. “He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. He loves everybody. He’s not a hateful soul. He’s just a guy that loves this art form called stand-up comedy.”
The famed comedian also garnered support from some LGBTQ personalities, most notably Black trans comic Flame Monroe. "As a comedian, I believe that I don't want to be censored," Monroe told TMZ in an interview. "I think that nothing is off-limits... The world has become too censored. There's three dogs I have in this fight: as a comedian, I don't want to be censored; as a trans woman, I want equality; and as a Black person, I want fair treatment in this country that we've been trying to get for 400 years," Monroe continued. "All of this what you can say [or] cannot say is ridiculous."
"I absolutely do not think the special should be taken down off of Netflix," she insisted. "What the great Dave Chappelle has just done has opened up a forum to have a real conversation between the heterosexual and the gay community. If you are in a room and you are uncomfortable, you are free to leave," she added.
Meanwhile, former presidential and New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang also defended Chappelle's recent Netflix special, saying artists should be granted a “very wide berth” for expressing themselves. “I think we should cut artists, a very, very wide berth in terms of the way they decide to express themselves and create,” Yang said on The Hill's 'Rising'.
Furthermore, social media was inundated with praises from several conservative figures. "Thank you, Dave Chappelle! Thank you For your incredible humanity. May God bless you and your family. Love, Rob (Filipino Elvis)," actor Rob Schneider tweeted. "They're not trying to cancel Dave Chappelle... they're trying to cancel all of free speech," columnist Tim Young added.
"Damn straight Dave Chappelle made jokes at your expense," conservative pundit Lauren Chen wrote in response to criticism by trans advocates. "And it's a good thing he did, because you clearly take yourself too seriously. Jokes don't lead to murder, stop trying to conflate your hurt feelings with actual violence," she added.
Thank you, Dave Chappelle! Thank you For your incredible humanity.— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) October 15, 2021
May God bless you and your family.
(Filipino Elvis) pic.twitter.com/6rtJn3oGqg
They're not trying to cancel Dave Chappelle... they're trying to cancel all of free speech.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) October 17, 2021
Damn straight Dave Chappelle made jokes at your expense— Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) October 14, 2021
And it's a good thing he did, because you clearly take yourself too seriously
Jokes don't lead to murder, stop trying to conflate your hurt feelings with actual violence https://t.co/oqCQrTvo5e