Patton Oswalt reacts to backlash over meet-up with ‘canceled’ Dave Chappelle

Patton Oswalt reacts to backlash over meet-up with 'canceled' Dave Chappelle 2
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Patton Oswalt addressed backlash he received after meeting up with controversial comic Dave Chappelle on New Year’s Eve. 

The 52-year-old stand-up comedian had shared several snaps with Chappelle, 48, in Seattle, Washington and called him a ‘genius’ and ‘real friend’ which ruffled some feathers. 

Responding to the criticism over both the post and the friendship, Oswalt explained that though they ‘100% disagree on transgender rights’ it was ‘impossible’ to cut off a friend of 34-years despite their differing beliefs.

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Ruffling feathers: Patton Oswalt, 52, addressed backlash he received after meeting up with controversial comic Dave Chappelle, 48, on New Year's Eve where he called him a 'genius' and 'real friend'

Ruffling feathers: Patton Oswalt, 52, addressed backlash he received after meeting up with controversial comic Dave Chappelle, 48, on New Year’s Eve where he called him a ‘genius’ and ‘real friend’ 

Patton’s initial post showed several photos of he and Dave. He explained that as both were in town to cap off 2021 with stand-up sets — which happened to be next door to each other — he received a text from Chappelle to come by and do a guest set to which he thought ‘Why not?’    

‘I waved good-bye to this hell-year with a genius I started comedy with 34 years ago,’ he continued to say. ‘He works an arena like he’s talking to one person and charming their skin off. Anyway, I ended the year with a real friend and a deep laugh. Can’t ask for much more.’

Many were outraged on account of Chappelle’s transphobic statements in his Netflix special, The Closer, which caused Oswalt to share a self-reflection style follow-up while explaining himself on January 1. 

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In a lengthy caption he apologized for any hurt the post may have caused and maintained that though he and Dave wholeheartedly disagree on transgender issues, he still defends the friendship as well.

Self-reflection: In a lengthy caption he apologized for any hurt the post may have caused and maintained that though he and Dave wholeheartedly disagree on transgender issues, he still defends the friendship as well

Self-reflection: In a lengthy caption he apologized for any hurt the post may have caused and maintained that though he and Dave wholeheartedly disagree on transgender issues, he still defends the friendship as well 

‘I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time this New Year’s Eve. We’ve known each other since we’re teens. He’s a fellow comedian, the funniest I’ve ever met. I wanted to post a pic & an IG story about it — so I did. The friend is Dave Chappelle,’ Oswalt began.

‘Thirty four YEARS we’ve been friends. He’s refocused and refined ideas a lot of us took as settled about race & history & Life On Planet Earth and spun them around with a phrase or punchline. We’ve done bad & good gigs, open mikes & TV tapings. But we also 100% disagree about transgender rights & representation. 

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‘I support trans peoples’ rights — ANYONE’S rights — to live safely in the world as their fullest selves. For all the things he’s helped ME evolve on, I’ll always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues. 

‘But I also don’t believe a seeker like him is done evolving, learning. You know someone that long, see the struggles and changes, it’s impossible to cut them off. Impossible not to be hopeful and open and cheer them on,’ he continued. 

34 years of friendship: Many were outraged on account of Chappelle's transphobic statements in his Netflix special, The Closer, which caused Oswalt to share a self-reflection style follow-up on January 1 where he defended their friendship but not Dave's beliefs

34 years of friendship: Many were outraged on account of Chappelle’s transphobic statements in his Netflix special, The Closer, which caused Oswalt to share a self-reflection style follow-up on January 1 where he defended their friendship but not Dave’s beliefs

Remaining hopeful: 'But I also don't believe a seeker like him is done evolving, learning,' he continued to say adding that if 'You know someone that long, see the struggles and changes, it's impossible to cut them off'; Chappelle, Oswalt and wife Meredith Salenger pictured December 31

Remaining hopeful: ‘But I also don’t believe a seeker like him is done evolving, learning,’ he continued to say adding that if ‘You know someone that long, see the struggles and changes, it’s impossible to cut them off’; Chappelle, Oswalt and wife Meredith Salenger pictured December 31

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Surprise set: In his post Patton explained that as both were in town to cap off 2021 with stand-up sets — which happened to be next door to each other — he received a text from Chappelle to come by and do a guest set to which he thought 'Why not?'

Surprise set: In his post Patton explained that as both were in town to cap off 2021 with stand-up sets — which happened to be next door to each other — he received a text from Chappelle to come by and do a guest set to which he thought ‘Why not?’

Oswalt continued to speak about the challenges of reconciling his desire to be a ‘loyal friend’ to Chappelle and retaining friendships with people who hold different beliefs while also being an ‘LGBTQ ally.’   

‘Also, I’ve been carrying a LOT of guilt about friends I’ve cut off, who had views with which I couldn’t agree, or changed in ways I couldn’t live with. Sometimes I wonder — did I and others cutting them off make them dig their heels in deeper, fuel their ignorance with a nitro-boost of resentment and spite?

‘I’m an LGBTQ ally. I’m a loyal friend. There’s friction in those traits that I need to reconcile myself, and not let cause feels of betrayal in ANYONE else. And I’m sorry, truly sorry, that I didn’t consider the hurt this would cause. Or the DEPTH of that hurt. 

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Patton continued to say that he had been messaging with many on Instagram after the backlash, and confessed: ‘I (naively) deleted a lot of posts in the comment thread — critical ones from LGBTQ writers AND shit-posts by TERF/anti-trans orcs looking for clicks & giggles.’

Caught in the middle: Oswalt continued to speak about the challenges of reconciling his desire to be a 'loyal friend' to Chappelle and retaining friendships with people who hold different beliefs while also being an 'LGBTQ ally'; pictured July 15

Caught in the middle: Oswalt continued to speak about the challenges of reconciling his desire to be a ‘loyal friend’ to Chappelle and retaining friendships with people who hold different beliefs while also being an ‘LGBTQ ally’; pictured July 15

‘I wanted a “nice comment thread” about the pic with my friend. Ugh. So easy to think someone ELSE needs growth and miss the need in yourself. Gonna keep trying.’ 

Chappelle had famously found himself on the receiving end of cancel culture after he said in a segment of his Netflix special that a trans woman’s genitalia is ‘not quite what it is,’ and called gender ‘a fact.’ 

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He additionally declared himself ‘team TERF’ (trans-exclusionary radical feminist)’ and defended Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling who has been accused of being transphobic.  

Following outrage he had remained unapologetic about the special and declared ‘I said what I said.’

There had been calls for Netflix to remove the special but an executive from the streaming giant said that the statements didn’t cross ‘the line on hate’ and declared they were not going to pull it from the platform, which later caused a walkout at Netflix from LGBTQ+ members and allies.  

Cancel club: Chappelle had famously found himself on the receiving end of cancel culture after his The Closer Netflix special where he said trans woman's genitalia is 'not quite what it is,' called gender 'a fact' and declared himself 'team TERF' (trans-exclusionary radical feminist); pictured October 30

Cancel club: Chappelle had famously found himself on the receiving end of cancel culture after his The Closer Netflix special where he said trans woman’s genitalia is ‘not quite what it is,’ called gender ‘a fact’ and declared himself ‘team TERF’ (trans-exclusionary radical feminist); pictured October 30

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