Dave Chappelle teams up with Netflix again to head huge comedy festival
The Netflix-Chappelle dynamic has been heavily criticised of late
Simply entitled Dave Chappelle and Friends, the event will run from April 28 until May 8 2022 and there are some seriously big names confirmed to be appearing alongside him, according to a recent press statement.
*At the request of the artist, this event will be a phone-free experience. Use of phones, smart watches and accessories, will not be permitted in the performance space.*
— Climate Pledge Arena (@ClimateArena) December 3, 2021
As well as prominent performance[s] from the 48-year-old comic himself, the Netflix production and "11-day comedy fest in Los Angeles" will be hosted by Live Nation - the same event company at the centre of the Astroworld storm - and feature such names as:
"Ali Wong, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Bert Kreischer, Bill Burr, Chelsea Handler, Chris Rock, Conan O’Brien, Cristela Alonzo, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Deon Cole, Eddie Izzard, Ellen DeGeneres, Felipe Esparza, Fortune Feimster, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, Hasan Minhaj and Ronny Chieng, Iliza Shlesinger, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Jerry Seinfeld, John Mulaney, Jonathan Van Ness, Ken Jeong, Kevin Hart, Kevin Smith, Larry David, Margaret Cho, Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum, Michael McIntyre, Mike Birbiglia, Mike Myers and David O. Russell, Nick Kroll, Nicole Byer, Patton Oswalt, Pete Davidson, Ray Romano, Sandra Bernhard, Seth Rogen, Theo Von, Tig Notaro, Tim Robinson, Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes"
As you can see, there are some seriously heavy hitters amongst the long list which is yet to be fully confirmed.
The announcement has come as somewhat of a surprise to many following the recent controversy surrounding his sixth and final Netflix special (the comic stating it would be his last with the company for some time), The Closer.
Not only did employees stage a walkout over the special which once again focused on issues around the transgender community but the comedian went on to be challenged at his own alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, as one student reportedly labelled him a "childish bigot".
Chappelle has defended his comments from minute one, having recently slammed cancel culture and the fallout from his special, stating: "This has nothing to do with them [the transgender community]. It's about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say."
Most notably, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos' stance hasn't changed either; while he admitted that he "screwed up" in handling the communication with employees, he insisted that "you really can’t please everybody or the content would be pretty dull".
Sarandos went on to tell The Hollywood Reporter that "this kind of commitment to artistic expression and free artistic expression is sometimes in conflict with people feeling protected and safe. I do think that that’s something that we struggle with all the time when these two values bump up against each other."
Finally, he added that he believed “this group of employees felt a little betrayed because we’ve created such a great place to work that they forgot that sometimes these challenges will come up". It would seem the partnership between Chappelle and streaming giant remains - for now, at least.
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