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The recent Dave Chappelle Netflix special, named The Closer, has been at the center of controversy for almost a month. Various prominent celebrities and influencers from all walks of life have defended as well as castigated the comedian. With his immense popularity and clout, the transphobic and homophobic jokes were bound to cause outrage. Now, disgraced comedian Chris D’Elia has also weighed in on Chappelle’s controversial special.
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Chris D’Elia defends Dave Chappelle, saying his jokes were “just jokes” and not hate speech
In a recent episode of his Congratulations podcast, Chris D’Elia narrated a monologue where he talked about Dave Chappelle and all the outrage he has received from the LGBTQ+ community over the past few weeks. He categorically said that Chappelle’s jokes were “just jokes” and not hate speech. D’Elia said:
There’s one thing that is just true, it’s jokes. And that’s it. You need to stop. It’s jokes. So, it’s not hate speech. It isn’t hate speech because no one’s hating. Dave Chappelle doesn’t hate these people or whoever he’s talking about.
Furthermore, D’Elia said that art is not supposed to appease every viewer. And that it is completely fine if some people find it uncomfortable, saying:
Art is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. It’s supposed to not necessarily align with your values.
He also defended Netflix boss Ted Sarandos and criticized the media
Chris D’Elia then emphasized that being angry at Dave Chappelle for his transphobic and homophobic jokes was perfectly fine, as he said that “You can get mad all you want”. But, D’Elia also highlighted the negative role that the media played in this entire ordeal. He commended Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos for not taking Chappelle’s special down and said that the media is at fault for misrepresenting Ted Sarandos’s words. To sum up, what Sarandos said was that his words in defence of the special may have been insensitive, but he is still not pulling the special. However, the media reported it as Ted Sarandos taking back his stance, which is not what he was doing, according to D’Elia. He also highlighted the media’s hypocrisy on famous podcast host and friend Joe Rogan, saying:
The media is so mad at Joe Rogan for fucking being the guy that’s actually telling the god damn truth… he may be wrong about a lot of things, he may be wrong about big things, but nobody’s in his pockets.
Furthermore, D’Elia criticized the Netflix employees walkout, saying that barely a few dozen employees showed up. Furthermore, he was particularly furious about how the protestors took away and broke the sign of someone who was peacefully protesting with a pro-Dave Chappelle sign, which seemed innocuous. That said, D’Elia did not talk about the trans employees that Netflix fired who organized the walkout and tweeted against Dave Chappelle’s soecial.
Chris D’Elia has his own share of serious controversies
Over the past year, Chris D’Elia has been at the center of a heap of contrvoersies. Multiple women, a few of which were underaged, accused him of s*xual misconduct and exposing himself. Since then, his acting agency abandoned him and he lost multiple gigs, including a gig in Zack Snyder’s Netflix movie Army of the Dead, with the director replacing him with Tig Nataro. Snyder even talked about the millions it took to edit D’Elia out of the film. Since then, D’Elia has apologized for his misconduct. However, he has emphasized that all his sexual encounters have been consensual, saying:
I know it’s been a really long time since you’ve heard from me, and when the news broke I put out a statement that said everything I’ve done is legal and consensual, and that’s true, and I wanted that statement to speak for itself. Um, and I wanted to talk immediately. I wanted to post online, I wanted to do my podcast business as usual. But, I thought that might no be the best thing. What might be the best thing would be if I just take this time to be with my family, try and take a long, hard look at myself.
Related: Chris D’Elia returns to stand-up comedy, jokes about getting canceled for sexual abuse allegations