Dave Chappelle Added to Netflix Comedy Fest Lineup Sparking Anger

Still from Dave Chappelle's Netflix special 'The Closer.' Credit: Netflix

Dave Chappelle has joined the list of headliners for Netflix’s 2022 comedy festival and some Hollywood insiders are fuming.

The comedian is part of the all-star lineup set to perform in the 11-day “Netflix Is A Joke” comedy fest next spring, after it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related Story: Dave Chappelle Responds to ‘The Closer’ Controversy: ‘I Am Not Bending to Anyone’s Demands’

Among those criticizing the decision to add Chappelle to the lineup is Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton, who told his followers in a Facebook post that Chappelle’s transphobic comments in Netflix special The Closer cannot be taken lightly.

“So this stuff that Chapelle did? That all these Cishet white men are so keen to defend? I believe them when they say that it’s not a big deal. Because it’s not a big deal TO CISHET WHITE DUDES. But for a transgender person, those ‘jokes’ normalize hateful, ignorant, bigoted behavior towards them,” he said. 

“Those ‘jokes’ contribute to a world where transgender people are constantly under threat of violence, because transgender people have been safely, acceptably, dehumanized. And it’s all okay, because they were dehumanized by a Black man. And the disingenuous argument that it’s actually racist to hold Chapelle accountable for this? Get the f–k out of here.”

On Tuesday, the creator of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, took to Twitter to say Netflix appears to have a different standard with Chappelle than with him when it comes to censorship.

Bob-Waksberg tweeted: “Still mystified that apparently Dave Chapelle’s deal is that he says whatever he wants and Netflix just has to air it, unedited. Is that normal, for comedians? Because Netflix once asked me to change a joke because they were worried it might upset [filmmaker] David Fincher.”

The controversy surrounding Chappelle has continued since the special began streaming on Oct. 5. In October, frustrated Netflix employees and their supporters walked out of the streamer’s offices in Los Angeles in protest.

Related StoryDamon Wayans Weighs In on Dave Chappelle Netflix Special With Slavery Reference

Still, Chappelle has his supporters, including actor-comedian Bill Bellamy, who defended the superstar comic and told Urban Hollywood 411 “everyone’s so sensitive.”

In addition to Chappelle, the “Netflix is a Joke” festival will feature Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Craig Robinson, Damon Wayans, Wanda Sykes, Luenell, Marlan Wayans, Marsha Warfield, Maya Rudolph, Ellen Degeneres, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Jerry Seinfeld and others.

The event will run from April 28 to May 8, 2022 in Los Angeles. You can find more details at NetflixIsAJokeFest.com.