Photo: Netflix (Fair Use)

A Timeline of the Dave Chappelle Narratives

October 26, 2021

~ 6 minutes read

After weeks of controversy, Dave Chappelle responded to criticisms of his latest comedy special

Throughout the month of October, the conversation around the special has been contentious. At its core, it has been a debate over freedom of speech and whether hate speech should be treated as violence. 

Below, we break down how that conversation has evolved over time.

October 5: "The Closer" is released on Netflix.

To the left, the views Chappele expresses in his special encourage prejudice and can cause real harm to the trans community.  

To the right, Chappelle’s content isn’t offensive, but a comedic pushback against the progressive elite’s narrative that we cannot question the trans community.  

Netflix’s defense of encouraging artistic freedom is illegitimate, since they’ve modified other harmful shows in the past. This type of attack would not have been tolerated if it had happened to another minority group.

The only people who are being cancelled are employees who speak out against Chappelle’s hatred.  

 

Chappelle is a master of his craft, and his special is hilarious. He shouldn’t be cancelled for speaking courageously and asking important questions.

Comedy needs to be free from censorship.  

Chappelle’s special isn’t funny enough to deserve this much defense and it won’t stand the test of time. 

The media is trying to legitimize the walkout, but it shouldn’t be taken seriously.    

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences. Chappelle is rightly facing repercussions for his choices, since hate speech is far from funny.  

 

Chappelle is bravely refusing to bend to pressure from the left or apologize to triggered activists. 

Chappelle’s comedy special is hate speech and poses a real threat to the trans community. The continued support for Chappelle and the anger against people who speak out against him show that transphobia is rampant in society.

The outrage against Chappelle’s comedy special shows that activists are trying to silence and censor everyone they disagree with. The liberal media is sensationalizing a harmless comedy routine, and Chappelle is brave for not bending to that pressure.

October 5: The Closer is released on Netflix.  

 

 

October 5-7: Controversy picks upwith calls for Netflix to remove Chappelle’s special from their platform.

To the left, the views Chappele expresses in his special encourage prejudice and can cause real harm to the trans community.  

 

 

 

October 10-15: Netflix defendsstreaming the special. Claims surface that the company suspended or terminated employees for criticizing Chappelle.

Netflix’s defense of encouraging artistic freedom is illegitimate, since they’ve modified other harmful shows in the past. This type of attack would not have been tolerated if it had happened to another minority group.

The only people who are being cancelled are employees who speak out against Chappelle’s hatred.  

 

 

October 19-20: Netflix employees stage a walkout.

Chappelle’s special isn’t funny enough to deserve this much defense and it won’t stand the test of time.  

 

 

October 25-26: Chappelle responds to the controversy during a performance.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences. Chappelle is rightly facing repercussions for his choices, since hate speech is far from funny.  

 

 

What’s the narrative on the left?

Chappelle’s comedy special is hate speech and poses a real threat to the trans community. The continued support for Chappelle and the anger against people who speak out against him show that transphobia is rampant in society.

October 5: The Closer is released on Netflix.  


October 5-7: Controversy picks upwith calls for Netflix to remove Chappelle’s special from their platform.

To the right, Chappelle’s content isn’t offensive, but a comedic pushback against the progressive elite’s narrative that we cannot question the trans community.  


October 10-15: Netflix defendsstreaming the special. Claims surface that the company suspended or terminated employees for criticizing Chappelle.

Chappelle is a master of his craft, and his special is hilarious. He shouldn’t be cancelled for speaking courageously and asking important questions.

Comedy needs to be free from censorship.    


October 19-20: Netflix employees stage a walkout.

The media is trying to legitimize the walkout, but it shouldn’t be taken seriously.    


October 25-26: Chappelle responds to the controversy during a performance.

Chappelle is bravely refusing to bend to pressure from the left or apologize to triggered activists.    


What’s the narrative on the right?

The outrage against Chappelle’s comedy special shows that activists are trying to silence and censor everyone they disagree with. The liberal media is sensationalizing a harmless comedy routine, and Chappelle is brave for not bending to that pressure.

The core disagreement here is over what hate speech is and how it impacts people.

To the left, hate speech is an existential threat to the mental and physical well-being of marginalized people and communities, who suffer from constantly being questioned and antagonized for merely existing. Allowing hate speech to spread will perpetuate hate and violence towards these communities.

To the right, it’s absurd that asking questions or casually assuming something is perceived as hateful. Ideas are stifled when people constantly have to police their own speech. No one should spread hate, but questioning a narrative because it doesn’t make sense to you isn’t hateful. Speech shouldn’t be called violent unless the speech explicitly calls for physical violence.

 

What do you think? Do you agree with one side, or do you fall somewhere in between? Give us feedback on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, or by emailing info@narrativesproject.com.