Comedian said he had no plans to attend a rally in support of trans people, but would meet with people ‘who like facts, research and know their stuff’
Dave Chappelle says he’ll meet with transgender critics, but he’s ‘not bending to anybody’s demands’
Dave Chappelle has said he will meet with a group of transgender people but that he was not “bending to anybody’s demands”.
The comedian, who recently came out as a longtime fan of conservative cable network Fox News, previously said he did not believe in trans rights but “could be persuaded by other people”.
At a comedy show in April, he took aim at trans people, saying that asking “how can a man be a woman, how can a woman be a man” was like asking: “How can a maggot be a frog?”
The protests were organised by activist Justine Damond who was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer while unarmed last July.
At the rally, which took place at the Icehouse on Saturday night, Chappelle said: “I’ve spoken with Justine [Damond] … I’ve got her as a fan.”
He added: “I’m happy to do things in support of Justine. Just because I’m not gonna be in a shirt or not there with my hair cut and makeup on doesn’t mean I’m not gonna do the right thing.”
Damond was not immediately available for comment.
Chappelle’s representatives told the Guardian they would not comment.
Since coming out in late April, Chappelle has been using his first column for the New York Times to talk about who he is, his views on “obsessive media stalkers” and the US president.
He also appeared on live radio Saturday, explaining why he missed the first white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
According to NPR, Chappelle said: “When I heard the news I was like, ‘Fuck this shit, it was bullshit. I don’t want to be associated with this shit’.”
The comedian also blamed James O’Keefe, the conservative activist behind conservative groups’ stunts, for conspiring with the alt-right to influence an election: “If I would have known about this stuff beforehand, I would have run for mayor.”
In October, Chappelle published an essay on his agent’s website, which detailed his supporters and enemies, including members of the alt-right and fellow comedians.
He ended with the words: “I don’t care who likes me or does not like me and I won’t do anything I have to do to please anyone. If I do, I’ve failed. I’m not going to put myself in that situation again.”