Dave Chappelle believes his critics in the LGBTQ+ community are “trying to take the nuance out of speech”.
While speaking to co-hosts Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey on their podcast The Midnight Miracle, the comedian confronted the backlash that has surrounded his work since he made jokes perceived as transphobic in his 2021 Netflix special The Closer.
He insisted that he wasn’t “mad” about the backlash itself but the fact his critics think he shouldn’t be allowed to voice his controversial jokes.
“I’m not even mad that they take issue with my work. Good, fine. Who cares? What I take issue with is the idea that because they don’t like it, I’m not allowed to say it,” he said, reports Variety.
“I have a belief that they are trying to take the nuance out of speech in American culture, that they’re making people speak as if they’re either on the right or the left. Everything seems absolute, and any opinion I respect is way more nuanced than these binary choices they keep putting in front of us. I don’t see the world in red or blue.”
He believes his most staunch critics are “trying to silence” and “punish” him for continuing to perform amid the controversy.
Chappelle then cited an incident in Minneapolis, Minnesota last July. His show was cancelled at the city’s First Avenue club due to the backlash and ended up being held the Varsity Theater, which attracted protesters, who allegedly threw eggs at those queueing for the show.
“They (his critics) want to be feared. ‘If you say this, then we will punish you. We’ll come to First Avenue and f**k your show up and we’ll come to the Varsity Theater and f**k your show up.’ And they just don’t get to do that,” he stated.
– Cover Media