Stine: Controversy surrounding upcoming Dave Chappelle performance in Seattle is ridiculous
Taken from Thursday’s edition of KIRO Nights
Dave Chappelle is coming to the Climate Pledge Arena, and Seattle Pride spoke out against it recently. They say they’re deeply upset about Chappelle coming to Seattle after comments he made in his recent Netflix special, “The Closer.”
To clarify, in my opinion, the special is a relatively unimportant piece of comedy. I didn’t find it to be funny, because it’s 40 minutes of him talking about how trans people are mean to him on Twitter, which is beneath Dave Chappelle as a comedian, and beneath him as a performer. If I did my whole radio show on the people who don’t like me in the text line, would that be good radio? If I did an hour and a half on the people in the text line who don’t like me, it would be pretty cringe. That’s the way that I view “The Closer” from Dave Chappelle.
But more importantly, the thing that I am of two minds about is not Dave Chappelle coming to Seattle, because of course Dave Chappelle should come to Seattle, of course he should perform at the Climate Pledge Arena, and of course people should go if they want to see him. I am of two minds about Seattle Pride releasing their statement, because I’m not sure how necessary or important this statement is.
So you’re going release a letter to the Climate Pledge Arena, asking that Dave Chappelle not be booked until he apologizes, not to any individual person, but to trans people as a whole? That is a ridiculous argument to make, and I am as pro trans as anybody could possibly be.
It is a stupid thing to ask Dave Chappelle to apologize to the transgender community at large. If you want him to apologize to you, as a trans person because he offended you, I’m sure that you could get in touch with his publicist or his agent, and say, “Hey, Mr. Chappelle, I’m a trans person, and when I watched ‘The Closer,’ I took the comments you made about trans people personally, and rather that it being a ‘me’ problem, I want it to be a ‘you’ problem, because it’s my choice to watch the special.”
No matter how you cut it, it is a stupid thing to do. I am more than happy to support Seattle Pride. I am more than happy to stand up next to our gay brothers and sisters, or our trans brothers and sisters and say, “We will fight transphobia wherever we see it.” What I am not on board with is this idea that Chappelle needs to apologize writ large to everybody for comments he made in a comedy special. I find that stupid and unnecessary.
Now, if you want to criticize this special, I’ll be right along there with you — it’s boring and uninteresting. But this is too much.
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