Dave Chappelle Speech Slamming Critics published by Netflix

A new release from Dave Chappelle, titled “What’s in a Name?” was released on Netflix on Thursday and consists of a speech in which the comedian addresses the backlash he’s facing in his standup for transphobic material.

The 40-minute speech – which was released on Netflix without prior notice – was delivered at Chappelle’s alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, during a planned ceremony to rename the school’s theater after him. The school’s choice was widely criticized for Chappelle’s inclusion of jokes aimed at the transgender community — particularly trans women — in his recent projects, such as the 2021 standup special “The Closer.” Chappelle also had a hawkish Q&A with Duke Ellington students after the special’s release in November, during which many criticized him for not listening to the LGBTQ community’s objections to his material.

During the renaming ceremony, Chappelle announced that he had decided against naming the theater after him due to the controversy. The Duke Ellington School eventually named the space Theater of Artistic Freedom and Expression.

“What’s in a name?” captures the speech in which Chappelle announced the theater’s new name. Chappelle focused primarily on describing his years at Duke Ellington. However, about 30 minutes into the speech, he addresses the previous Q&A at school and defends himself against the controversy, claiming that those who objected to “The Closer” noted the special’s “artistic nuance.” have not considered.

“All the children screamed and screamed. I remember saying to the kids, ‘Well, okay, well, what do you think I did wrong?’ And a line formed. These kids said everything about gender and this and that and that, but they didn’t say anything about art,” Chappelle said. “And that’s my biggest criticism of this whole controversy with ‘The Closer’: that you can’t report on an artist’s work and take artistic nuance from their words. It would be like you’re reading a newspaper and they say, “man shot in the face by a six-foot rabbit that is expected to survive,” you’d say, “oh my god,” and they never tell you it does one is Bugs Bunny cartoon.”

Chappelle went on to say that the questions and answers hurt him, claiming that student objections to his material attacked his “freedom of artistic expression.”

“Hearing these talking points on the faces of these children really, honestly, hurt me. Because I know these kids didn’t think of those words. I’ve heard those words before. The more times you say I can’t say something, the more urgent I feel to say it,” Chappelle said. “And it has nothing to do with what you say, I can’t say it. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom to express myself artistically. That’s valuable to me. This is not separate from me. It is worthy of protection for me, and it is worthy of protection for all others who strive in our noble, noble professions.”

Chappelle ended his defense by calling the teenagers who had criticized him “instruments of oppression”.

“And these children have not understood that they are instruments of oppression. And I wasn’t mad at her,” Chappelle said. “These are children. You are a freshman. You are not ready yet. They do not know.”

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/dave-chappelle-netflix-speech-whats-in-a-name-1235311467/ Dave Chappelle Speech Slamming Critics published by Netflix

Charles Jones

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