Caitlyn Jenner rushed to the defense of comedian Dave Chappelle amid controversy over his new Netflix special, calling the backlash against him “woke culture run amok.”
“Dave Chappelle is 100% right,” Jenner tweeted Wednesday. “This isn’t about the LGBTQ movement. It’s about woke cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech. We must never yield or bow to those who wish to stop us from speaking our minds.”
In his show “The Closer,” Chappelle described himself as being on “team TERF,” a term that refers to a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, among other material that set off some progressives. His controversial sets bristled liberal critics and Netflix employees, a small number of whom staged a walkout in protest of Chappelle’s show. Left-leaning outlets, meanwhile, accused Chappelle of using too many “phobic” jokes.
But his supporters thanked him for standing his ground.
“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands,” Chappelle said in defense. “And if you want to meet with me, I’d be more than willing to.”
Chappelle ultimately blamed the furor on corporate interests.
“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that is not what it is,” he said. “Do not blame the LBGTQ [sic] community for any of this s–t. This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say,” Chappelle said. “For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been loving and supporting, so I don’t know what all this nonsense is about.”
Jenner got mixed reactions for taking Chappelle’s side. Veteran broadcaster Piers Morgan, who is joining FOX News Media next year and has often spoken out on cancel culture, applauded her sentiments.
Liberal sites like Jezebel took the opposite view, publishing unflattering headlines about the former reality TV star.
“Caitlyn Jenner Is Glomming Onto the Dave Chappelle Discourse Because She’s Got Nothing Better to Do,” Jezebel wrote.
Jenner, a former Republican candidate for governor in California, has also been a cancel culture target in recent months. A Forbes contributor accused her of “turning her back on trans kids for Republican votes,” while MSNBC’s Joy Reid offered space for a transgender activist to bash Jenner as “hateful” after Jenner spoke out against allowing transgender athletes who were born male to compete on girls’ sports teams.
Jenner has previously said it was easier to come out as a transgender than as a Republican.