Comedian Dave Chappelle said movie companies and film festivals won't touch his new documentary — "Untitled" — about a series of outdoor Ohio shows Chappelle put together last summer at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Rolling Stone reported.
The comedian said it's all due to continuing transgender anger over his Netflix special, "The Closer," in which he says "gender is real." The controversy has ignited protests and walkouts and calls for Chappelle's cancellation.
Therefore, Chappelle said he'll be screening his "Untitled" documentary himself: It will be shown next month in 10 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Toronto.
What are the details?
Chappelle spoke about the issue during a performance he posted Monday on Instagram:
In summer 2020, when the whole world shut down, I was outside doing shows. My neighbor had a cornfield, and he let me throw shows there. And people came from all over the country; some people came from around the world to see those shows. The best comedians on earth came to my home and broke bread with me, and we lived our lives; we found a way to keep moving forward. I made a whole documentary about it. The first night of those shows was a piece that some of you might have seen; it was called "8:46," and it dealt with the death — the murder — of George Floyd. This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States, and some of those invitations I accepted. And when this controversy came out about "The Closer," they began disinviting me from these film festivals. And now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival — nobody will touch his film. Thank God for Ted Sarandos at Netflix; he's the only one that didn't cancel me yet.
Chappelle soon added that he "desperately" desires audiences to watch his documentary but "understands[s] why investors would be nervous, and since nobody will touch it, I'll tell you what I'll do."
With that Chappelle announced that he'll make it available for screening in 10 cities next month "and you can see what they're trying to obstruct you from seeing." The cities and dates are listed at the end of the Instagram video.
"And you can judge for yourself, but you cannot have this conversation and exclude my voice from it," he added. "That is only fair. You have to answer the question: 'Am I canceled or not?' Thank you very much."
Content warning: rough language
During the same Instagram video, the comedian also said he's "not bending to anybody's demands" but that he's "more than willing" to give the transgender community "an audience" — but it may not "summon" him.
Plus, Chappelle threw down three conditions.
"First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end," he said. "You must come to a place of my choosing and a time of my choosing. And thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny."
Gadsby is a comedian who lashed out at Netflix over "The Closer" controversy.
It turns out that amid all the flaming arrows directed at Chappelle of late, a transgender activist — Ashlee Marie Preston — who helped organize the Netflix walkout over "The Closer" reportedly has a history of tweets mocking and insulting Hispanics, Asians, and others.
"Real Time" host Bill Maher on Friday blasted the woke mob angry over Chappelle's special, asking, "Where does this insanity come from?"
And the person who arguably received the most attention during the Netflix walkout was a Chappelle supporter who humorously stood his ground and exercised his free speech despite protesters destroying his property and trying to intimidate him.