Patton Oswalt Says He & Dave Chappelle "100% Disagree" on Trans Rights

Actor & comedian Patton Oswalt (Happy!, A.P. Bio) reignited the Dave Chappelle/Netflix controversy on New Year's Eve, posting photos of himself visiting Chappelle during one of his performances and even doing a guest set for Chappelle. Seen as a supporter & ally of the LGBTQ community, fans called out Oswalt for still choosing to support Chappelle in light of what were seen as transphobic comments in his latest Netflix special The Closer. Taking to Instagram, Oswalt shared a follow-up post addressing the situation. As to the matter of why he posed with Chappelle for his NYE post, Oswalt defended his decision by making the point that he wanted to share a moment with a friend he's known for thirty-four years.

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Patton Oswalt/Dave Chappelle – Images: Screencaps

But when it came to the comments Chappelle made in the special (comments that resulted in a Netflix employee walkout and a lot of public relations damage control on Netflix's Ted Sarandos's part), Oswalt wanted to make it crystal clear that he and Chappelle couldn't be further apart. "We also 100% disagree about transgender rights & representation. I support trans peoples' rights — ANYONE'S rights — to live safely in the world as their fullest selves," Oswalt wrote in his post. "For all the things he's helped ME evolve on, I'll always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues." That said, Oswalt believes that Chappelle isn't a lost cause on the issue because Oswalt believes Chappelle is "a seeker" who isn't "done evolving, learning."

I saw a friend I hadn't seen in a long time this New Year's Eve. We've known each other since we're teens. He's a fellow comedian, the funniest I've ever met. I wanted to post a pic & an IG story about it — so I did. The friend is Dave Chappelle. Thirty four YEARS we've been friends. He's refocused and refined ideas a lot of us took as settled about race & history & Life On Planet Earth and spun them around with a phrase or punchline. We've done bad & good gigs, open mikes & TV tapings. But we also 100% disagree about transgender rights & representation. I support trans peoples' rights — ANYONE'S rights — to live safely in the world as their fullest selves. For all the things he's helped ME evolve on, I'll always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues. But I also don't believe a seeker like him is done evolving, learning. You know someone that long, see the struggles and changes, it's impossible to cut them off. Impossible not to be hopeful and open and cheer them on. Also, I've been carrying a LOT of guilt about friends I've cut off, who had views with which I couldn't agree, or changed in ways I couldn't live with. Sometimes I wonder — did I and others cutting them off make them dig their heels in deeper, fuel their ignorance with a nitro-boost of resentment and spite? I'm an LGBTQ ally. I'm a loyal friend. There's friction in those traits that I need to reconcile myself, and not let cause feels of betrayal in ANYONE else. And I'm sorry, truly sorry, that I didn't consider the hurt this would cause. Or the DEPTH of that hurt. I've been messaging a lot on IG today, and the back and forth has really helped guide me in the writing of this. I (naively) deleted a lot of posts in the comment thread — critical ones from LGBTQ writers AND shit-posts by TERF/anti-trans orcs looking for clicks & giggles. I wanted a "nice comment thread" about the pic with my friend. Ugh. So easy to think someone ELSE needs growth and miss the need in yourself. Gonna keep trying.

And here's a look back to the original post that Oswalt shared on Friday night that kicked off the backlash:

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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