Former New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang (D) defended comedian Dave Chappelle, saying he is a “great guy.”
Chappelle has recently received backlash for his Netflix special, “The Closer.” As NPR notes, the content included in the special has “angered many in the LGBTQ community.”
Netflix employees also participated in a walkout after the streaming platform allowed the special to remain available to viewers.
On Tuesday, Chappelle visited his old high school and was met with criticism, as Politico reported. One student called Chappelle a “bigot,” adding, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”
Yang commented on the matter on Twitter.
“I was endorsed by a number of celebrities. Dave Chappelle is the only one who came to Iowa and South Carolina to perform on my behalf – with proceeds going to the campaign – and even made phone calls and hung out with staff. He did it because he wants to help people. Great guy,” he wrote.
Yang continued, “The press hit job on his visiting his high school is awful. Successful alum who fundraises for school returns, speaks to students and gives everyone a free meal for Thanksgiving. But of course in 2021 an obvious positive gesture is framed negatively in the media.”
The press hit job on his visiting his high school is awful. Successful alum who fundraises for school returns, speaks to students and gives everyone a free meal for Thanksgiving. But of course in 2021 an obvious positive gesture is framed negatively in the media.
— Andrew Yang🧢⬆️🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) November 26, 2021
According to Politico, Chappelle responded to another “antagonistic question,” roughly telling the students, “I’m better than every instrumentalist, artist, no matter what art you do in this school, right now, I’m better than all of you. I’m sure that will change. I’m sure you’ll be household names soon.”
One student allegedly said, “Your comedy kills.”
Chappelle fired back, “N****** are killed every day.” He proceeded to ask, “The media’s not here, right?”
In a video posted to Instagram in October, Chappelle doubled down on his comments he made during his special and addressed the walkout.
“I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not? You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore,” the comedian said.
Others have defended Chappelle, including Bill Maher, as IJR reported.
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