Dave Chappelle to Tour The Closer If the Controversial Special Gets Pulled from Netflix

    Controversial comedian Dave Chappelle will be taking his latest comedy special on the road if it gets pulled from Netflix. This month, Chappelle debuted the new special, dubbed The Closer, to worldwide audiences on the streaming service. It would be an understatement to say that some of the LGBTQ+ jokes generated backlash against Chappelle with some critics calling for Netflix to pull the special from the service altogether.

    Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has already suggested that the company will stand by Dave Chappelle. That has led to additional controversy, which includes several Netflix employees taking part in a company walk out, but as of now, Netflix doesn’t seem to be wavering on the decision to keep The Closer live. Should the company ultimately end up pulling the special for whatever reason, however, Chappelle’s backup plan is to take it on tour to continue screening it for audiences.

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    Per Variety, Dave Chappelle made the announcement at a sold-out show at London’s Eventim Apollo theater. The comedian reportedly told the fans in attendance that he was planning a 10-city U.S. tour of The Closer, though he has not made an official announcement. There would of course be no need to launch an official announcement for the press unless the special is actually pulled from Netflix, which still seems unlikely.

    The fans in attendance had some mixed opinions about Chappelle’s set. One person quoted by Variety said, “I actually thought for Dave Chappelle it was quite bad. I think it was controversial, but it wasn’t that good. He’s very funny, but he needs to move on from these jokes, it’s not that funny anymore.”

    “I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion on certain subjects,” another viewer said. “I feel like as a comedian, it’s your job to make people laugh and I don’t think he’s doing it from a malicious place. He’s probably experienced a lot of racism and a lot of trials and tribulations himself.”

    Another person suggested, “I think he was just asking for a dialogue, to be open, and that’s what I got from it. And that’s why I was a little bit confused about the outrage because he didn’t say, ‘Death to trans people,’ or ‘Trans people don’t exist.’ It was more, ‘These are my experiences and I’d like to talk more about it,’ so that’s what I thought.”

    Ted Sarandos also told Variety in a separate interview that he “screwed up” with how he handled the situation internally. He suggested that he should have “led with a lot more humanity” in regard to the pain some employees may have felt because of The Closer. Even so, he reiterated that Netflix plans to keep the comedy special streaming, citing Dave Chappelle’s artistic freedom as a comedian.

    “We are trying to support creative freedom and artistic expression among the artists that work at Netflix,” Sarandos said. “Sometimes, and we do make sure our employees understand this, because of that – because we’re trying to entertain the world, and the world is made up of folks with a lot of different sensibilities and beliefs and senses of humor and all those things – sometimes, there will be things on Netflix that you dislike. That you even find to be harmful. Where we’ll definitely draw the line is on something that would intentionally call for physically harming other people or even remove protections.”

    As of now, The Closer is streaming on Netflix. This news comes to us from Variety.

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