Dave Chappelle has been receiving constant criticism for making jokes directed at the transgender community. The comedian recently addressed the backlash in his recent Netflix release.

What’s in a Name: Speech at Duke Ellington School of the Arts is a new special from Netflix that features Chappelle’s speech at his alma school. In the release, Chappelle addresses his decision not to have the school’s new theater named after him, specifically reflecting on the criticism he received from young students over his latest material.

“These kids said everything about gender and this and that and the other, but they didn’t say anything about art.”

“And this is my biggest gripe with this whole controversy with The Closer. You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance from his words. It would be like if you were reading the newspaper, and they say ‘man shot in the face by a six-foot rabbit, expected to survive.’ You’d be like, ‘oh my god.’ And they never tell you it’s a Bugs Bunny cartoon.”

“When I heard these talking points coming out of these children’s faces, that really sincerely hurt me. Because I know those kids didn’t come up with those words. I’ve heard those words before.”

Chappelle accused the kids of being used as “instruments of oppression,” and said that their objections to his remarks just drove him further away from them.

“The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it and it has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom, to artistic expression that is valuable to me, that is not separate from me.”

It looks like Chappelle is not going to refrain from making such offensive jokes anytime soon. The controversy was aggravated by criticism of how Netflix leadership is claimed to have handled internal talks about the content, with co-CEO Ted Sarandos defending the content on many occasions.

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Sanchari Ghosh

Sanchari has a degree in chemical engineering. Apart from that, she has a knack for reading and photography too. She likes to keep herself updated with what is happening around the world. Sanchari is always keen on learning new things. She loves watching movies and her favorite genre is romantic comedies!

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