Caitlyn Jenner is the latest celeb to defend comedian Dave Chappelle following backlash from the trans community over his perceived transphobic comments in the special “The Closer.”
The former “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star and failed Cali gubernatorial candidate was responding to a video Chappelle, 48, shared on his Instagram, in which the comic claimed that corporate interests were trying to stifle his freedom of expression.
“Dave Chappelle is 100% right,” the 72-year-old gold medalist tweeted. “This isn’t about the LGBTQ movement. It’s about woke cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech.”
Jenner added, “We must never yield or bow to those who wish to stop us from speaking our minds.”
Her statement divided social media users, with some accusing the former Olympian decathlete of speaking from a position of privilege.
“It’s quite an utterly privileged position you’re in to say you’re not affected by the blatantly transphobic things David said in this special, Caitlyn,” fumed one detractor. “We’re not cancelling David, rather we’re holding him accountable for what he said.”
Meanwhile, Piers Morgan, 56, a staunch critic of “cancel culture,” applauded Jenner for her statement.
With her comments, the media personality joins other high-profile Chappelle defenders, including Jon Stewart, 48, Damon Wayans, 61, and transgender comedian Flame Monroe, 42. The Emmy-winning comic and “A Star is Born” co-star was also described as an “LGBTQ ally” by the family of his late trans comedian friend Daphne Dorman, who he talked about in the special.
Chappelle had initially found himself in hot water over comments he made in his latest Netflix special “The Closer.” The “Chappelle’s Show” creator stated that “gender is a fact” and described himself as being part of “team TERF,” an acronym for a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” that’s often applied to “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.
The controversial set sparked a fierce backlash from the streaming giant’s trans employees, who staged a walkout in protest of Chappelle’s statements.
Meanwhile, protest organizer Ashlee Marie Preston allegedly invited the “Sticks and Stones” creator to join the demonstrators at Netflix’s Los Angeles headquarters.
In response, the “Mark Twain” prize winner stated that he would meet with transgender Netflix employees; however, he wouldn’t be “bending to anybody’s demands.”
“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,” the comic said in his latest Instagram post. “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.”
Chappelle then joked that he’d be willing to meet with his critics under three conditions: “First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end,” the funnyman declared, adding “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.”
Chappelle also revealed that “Untitled,” his upcoming documentary about his summer 2020 comedy tour, has been expelled from film festivals.
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