Dave Chappelle to screen new documentary in Toronto next month amid Netflix controversy
TORONTO -- Dave Chappelle is set to screen his new documentary “Untitled” at Scotiabank Arena next month amid rising controversy about the star’s recent Netflix special.
The event, now listed on Scotiabank Arena’s website, is scheduled for Nov. 15. Tickets will go on sale on Oct. 27.
Chappelle drew criticism after releasing his most recent Netflix special, “The Closer,” in which he declared himself on “team TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist).
He then went on to make explicit jokes about bodies of trans women.
"Gender is a fact," Chappelle said in the special. "Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact."
The special spurred a walkout by transgender Netflix employees and allies, claiming that Netflix was “forcing their employees to participate in their own oppression.”
Netflix revealed that it fired one employee in the aftermath, who they say revealed confidential financial information about what the streaming platform paid for Chappelle’s special, stating that “maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to [the] company.”
In a video on Instagram, Chappelle said that interest in the film has declined since the controversy.
“This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States and some of those invitations I accepted and when this controversy came out about “The Closer,” they began disinviting me from these film festivals,” he said.
The documentary is centred around a series of live comedy shows Chappelle hosted in the early days of the pandemic from a stage set up in his neighbours backyard, he explained in the video posted to his Instagram.
The Toronto screening will feature a live appearance from Chappelle “and friends.”
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) told CTV News Toronto that they understood that certain aspects of public events may be offensive or harmful, and "will not reflect the views of values of the organization."
"MLSE remains steadfast in our commitment to providing a safe environment for all fans and employees who choose to attend an event, supporting those groups who choose not to attend an event due to content that might offend or be harmful, and the ongoing work to create a more inclusive community and positive and enduring social change," the spokesperson said.