Patton Oswalt responds to Dave Chappelle photo backlash

“We 100 per cent disagree about transgender rights and representation”

Patton Oswalt has addressed criticism he received after meeting up with comedian Dave Chappelle on New Year’s Eve (December 31).

The actor shared numerous photos with Chappelle backstage in Seattle, Washington who invited him to perform a guest set, describing him as a “real friend” and “genius”.

After the post faced some criticism following Chappelle’s Netflix special The Closer, where the comedian described himself as “team TERF”, Oswalt posted a response stating they have different views on transgender rights.

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

“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.”

After explaining his “guilt” over cutting friends off in the past from conflicting views, Oswalt added: “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 a 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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Following the release of Chappelle’s Netflix special, some employees at the streaming service conducted a virtual walkout in protest.

In response to the criticism, Chappelle reaffirmed his stance in October last year. “I said what I said and boy I heard what you said,” Chappelle wrote on Instagram. “My god, how could I not?

“You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. Well, it seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore.”

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos recently defended Chappelle following the backlash, with the comedian taking part in the streaming platform’s Netflix Is A Joke festival in December.

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