Comedian Dave Chappelle appears to be on the road to rectifying his transgender and racist behavior after revealing in the wake of his silence on the Netflix controversy that he was “really, really gay.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the funnyman admitted he doesn’t know whether he will ever do stand-up again but has seen a “fundamental change” in his place in comedy. The comedian recently appeared in a promotional video for Netflix’s upcoming live stand-up special, “The Age of Spin,” which the streaming service canceled after only six episodes to protest his participation.
“From the taping of the special, my feelings about Netflix were nuanced and somewhat complicated, but to be clear, I felt the special was poor quality,” Chappelle said. “But what was really, really fucked up is that they would give me this platform and then they would treat me this way.”
Chappelle noted that the special in question was one of five comedy specials produced for Netflix by stand-up comedians such as Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan and Wanda Sykes, who also do not participate in promoting their specials. He was the highest-profile comedian to take issue with his involvement, which he characterized as being “dumbfounding.”
“Of course I am going to be paid the same regardless, but what the fuck did I have to do?” Chappelle said. “People now say things to me out of the corner of their mouths like, ‘F— you, white man.’ I mean, who the fuck wants to meet with a white man? That’s really the most difficult part.”
He added: “I don’t know what the fuck I want, but I am not stepping into the lion’s den with anybody’s threatening letter if I don’t do things. I won’t bend to anybody’s demands. I want a simple explanation and I’ll be cool. But I don’t need a scary explanation. I’ll have a warm beer.”
Chappelle also attempted to downplay his public apology to Netflix earlier this month and likened his initial fear of being outed to his reaction to finding out he was gay. He said that the first time he told anyone he was gay, he was kicked out of bars and cast aside by those he considered friends.
“It’s a sign of your authenticity in my book,” he said. “To me, the act of finding out I was gay was just as shocking as figuring out that I was still a gay man. But I found out and my people threw me out. They didn’t tell me they were doing it, but they all said, ‘You know, Dave, if you want to stand up for yourself, and stand up for the gay community, that you can.'”