Caitlyn Jenner has come to Dave Chappelle's defense amid controversy over his Netflix special The Closer, saying the comic is '100% right' to stand up to transgender protesters angered by his gags.
Jenner, the world's most famous transgender woman, tweeted Tuesday: 'Dave Chappelle is 100% right.
'This isn't about the LGBTQ movement. It's about woke cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech.'
'We must never yield or bow to those who wish to stop us from speaking our minds,' the retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete wrote.
She spoke as LGBTQ activists continue to bash the comic for his jokes about the transgender community in the special.
Jenner was also moved to speak-out after transgender employees at the streaming service's office staged a walkout in protest of the production last week, with Chappelle taking to Instagram Monday to clear the air.
In the video, which contained a clip from one the comedian's recent sets, Chappelle extinguished rumors that he turned down an invitation to speak with Netflix's trans employees, and urged fans to not blame the LGBTQ community for the backlash he is currently facing, saying 'this has nothing to do with them.'
The comic further clarified that 'even though the media frames it as me versus that community,' the controversy stems from 'corporate interests, and what I can say and cannot say.' Jenner issued her Twitter defense while reposting Chappelle's speech.
Caitlyn Jenner has come to Dave Chappelle's defense amid controversy over his Netflix special The Closer, saying the comic is '100% right' to stand up to the transgender masses angered by the jokes he makes in the production
Chappelle spoke in a five minute video he posted on his Instagram Monday, the first time he publicly spoke out since the special aired. In the clip, the comic extinguished rumors he turned down an invitation to speak with Netflix's trans employees, and urged fans to not blame the LGBTQ community for the backlash he is facing, saying 'this has nothing to do with them'
Jenner, the world's most famous transgender woman, tweeted Tuesday: 'This isn't about the LGBTQ movement. It's about woke cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech'
Jenner, who revealed herself as a transgender women in 2015, upset many in May with her opinion on trans athletes, when she revealed that she opposes trans women - men who have transitioned to being female - participating in women's sports.
'It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools,' Jenner said at the time, of her stance. Jenner shot to fame as decathlete Bruce, and is equally famous for her previous marriage to Kris Jenner, and being father to the couple's daughter's Kylie and Kendall.
Jenner, a staunch Republican and an aspiring politico, failed in her highly-publicized bid to become the governor of California earlier this year, in the recall election against incumbent Gavin Newsom.
Jenner's candidacy, however, was plagued with accusations that she was not a serious contender - and she failed to garner the support of many in the LGBTQ community due to her conservative beliefs.
Newsom handily won the recall, and Jenner garnered just over 1 percent of votes at the polls.
'We were going up against the machine and it looks like the machine won,' she told supporters after the loss. 'It’s a shame. I love this state. I don’t want to see it go downhill.'
'And honestly, the future doesn’t look good.'
LGBTQ activists continue to bash the comic for his jokes about the transgender community in the special, and last week, transgender employees working at Netflix's California office staged a walkout in protest of the production
Chappelle said that he would be willing to speak with trans employees at Netflix, who are currently protesting his special - his sixth for the streaming service
With that said, in the video Chappelle posted to Instagram Monday - a five-minute snippet taken from a recent set where the comic offered his first public statement regarding the controversy since the special aired, he said he was willing to meet with his critics, but wouldn't be 'bending' to their demands.
Chappelle also said he'd only meet with protesters who'd seen The Closer, with many claiming to be too offended by snippets of its jokes to watch it, with the comic saying full context was needed.
During the set, the comedian further revealed that his upcoming documentary has been pulled by distributors and that invites to film festivals have been rescinded amid the controversy surrounding his sixth Netflix special.
Chappelle said that the newly premiered documentary about the comic's life, ironically titled, Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary, had been invited to 'every film festival in the United States - but in the wake of The Closer controversy, 'they began disinviting me from these film festivals.
'Now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, not nobody will touch this film,' Chappelle revealed.
Comedian Dave Chappelle said distributors and film festivals 'won't touch' his documentary amid controversy surrounding his Netflix special The Closer
He added, 'Thank god for Ted Sarandos at Netflix, he's the only one who didn't cancel me yet.'
Sarandos, the co-chief executive at the streaming service, has defended the special and told staff in an email that 'content on screen doesn't translate to real-world harm,' but later backed down and apologized for that email.
Chappelle defended the special in the segment of the set that he posted to Instagram, urging members of the audience and his social media followers to 'not blame the LGBTQ community for any of this s**t. That has nothing to do with this,' he said.
Last Wednesday, transgender employees at Netflix staged a walkout to protest the streaming service for airing the special
Chappelle's documentary, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar, features stand-up shows he held in his neighbor's spacious Ohio cornfield during through the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
'The best comedians on Earth came to my home and broke bread with me and we lived our ways, we found a way to keep moving forward,' he said.
On the first night of such shows, in May 2020, he spoke in depth about the killing of George Floyd by police. 'I desperately want people to see this movie,' he said. 'But I understand why investors would be nervous.'
Chappelle said that he would be airing it on his own and it would be screened at ten American cities, including New York, San Francisco and Indianapolis. 'You will be able to see this movie in its entirety and you can see what they're trying to obstruct you from seeing and you can judge for yourself,' he said.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has defended Dave Chappelle's The Closer special to his staff, telling them in an email 'content on screen doesn't translate to real-world harm'
Hannah Gadsby is a lesbian comedian also featured on Netflix who has slammed Chappelle's special and the streaming service after Sarandos used her name to tout the platform's commitment to diversity
In the Instagram video, Chappelle said that he would be willing to speak with trans employees at Netflix. 'To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me,' Chapelle said. 'I am not bending to anyone's demands, and if you want to meet with me, I am more than willing to, but I have some conditions...'
He continued, 'First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end. 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.
'Am I canceled or not? Then let's go!' Chappelle yells at the end of the video as the crowd roared their support.
Hannah Gadsby is a lesbian comedian also featured on Netflix who has slammed Chappelle's special and the streaming service after Sarandos used her name to tout the platform's commitment to diversity.
Sarandos, initially defended Chappelle and said that his special did not 'cross the line' on hate speech, despite various organizations including GLAAD and National Black Justice Coalition condemning the comedian's comments along with a number of trans Netflix employees.
But last week Sarandos appeared to soften his stance.
'I screwed up the internal communication — and I don't mean just mechanically,' Sarandos said.
'I feel I should've made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made, and I should've recognized upfront before going into a rationalization of anything the pain they were going through. I say that because I respect them deeply, and I love the contribution they have at Netflix. They were hurting, and I should've recognized that first.'
Sarandos added that Netflix 'was working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren't defined by a single story' specifically noting 'we have Sex Education, Orange Is the New Black, Control Z, Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself.'
The Closer is Chappelle's last stand up special on Netflix before he takes a break
Gadsby, who has two comedy specials on Netflix, rose to fame after her first special Nanette began streaming on Netflix in 2018.
She posted on Instagram asking Sarandos not to 'drag [her] name into [his] mess.'
'F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult...' she wrote.
Chappelle courted controversy with his jokes in which he asserts 'gender is a fact,' and criticizes what he says is the thin skin of the trans community.
The jokes were based upon earlier observations made by Harry Potter author J K Rowling's who in 2019 stated that transgender women were not actually women and were a threat to her identity.
In the contentious special, Chappelle also jokes that women today view transwomen the same way black people might view white women wearing blackface, and remarked that women are entitled to feel anger toward transwomen, since Caitlyn Jenner won Glamour magazine's 2015 Woman of the Year award.
'I'd be mad as sh*t if I was a woman,' Chappelle says during one section which protesters have taken exception to.
The star also jokes about the anatomy of transwomen in the special, joking that they lacked real female reproductive organs and that they did not have menstrual blood but 'beet juice' instead.
Chappelle has been branded transphobic for jokes he made in previous specials, though in The Closer he is at pains to stress that he does not hate transgender people.
He concludes the special by telling a long anecdote about a trans woman comic, who he describes as a friend, who came to his defense in earlier entanglements with the community.
Chappelle adds: 'Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact.'
It has been almost three weeks since the controversy began which saw some staff suspended and others fired in the fallout.
Daphne Dorman, 44, was a transgender amateur comic opened for comedian Dave Chappelle
Those who have criticized Chapelle's jokes have specifically cited the physical danger faced by the trans community as a result of anti-trans ideology.
The family of a trans woman who Chappelle said was hounded to death for defending his jokes in a 2019 Netflix show have slammed the woke mob trying to cancel him, saying they do not know how much he did for her.
Daphne Dorman was 44 when she killed herself in 2019 after defending her friend Chappelle for jokes made during a Netflix special that year.
'When she did that, the trans community dragged that b**** through Twitter,' Chappelle told the audience in The Closer.
'For days, they was going in on her and she was on her own because she's funny,' he continued, hinting the harassment might have contributed to her suicide.
'It's a true story; my heart was broken. I don't know what was going on, but I'll bet dragging her didn't help.'
Dorman, who began transitioning in 2014, was an up-and-coming comedian who opened a show for Chappelle.
Her humor veiled a dark past mired by a troubled childhood that left her with severe PTSD, her family said.
But despite her inner demons, she tapped into her comedy to make the world around her laugh, her sister said.
Her sister brushed off critics who have slammed Chappelle's transgender jokes, saying the comedian 'loved' Dorman and said people cannot demand that 'everyone see it your way'.