Joe Rogan defends Dave Chappelle, says he’s ‘in no way transphobic’ amid Netflix special uproar

Podcast giant Joe Rogan went to bat for fellow comedian Dave Chappelle amid the uproar over his latest Netflix stand-up special.

The streaming giant has stood behind “The Closer,” which critics have decried as “transphobic” over remarks Chappelle made supporting J.K. Rowling in that gender is based in fact, declaring himself on “team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. The special has caused a stir among some Netflix employees who have slammed their employer for backing Chappelle.

On Tuesday’s installment of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Rogan revealed he and Chappelle have “texted back and forth” about the Netflix drama and that he’s “riding out the storm.”

A counter protester talks with a demonstrator at a rally in support of the Netflix transgender employee walkout “Stand Up in Solidarity” to protest the streaming of comedian Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 20 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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“Because he’s not a homophobic or transphobic person. He makes fun of himself,” Rogan began. “It’s fun, it’s just making jokes, that doesn’t mean hate. This is the problem with today. If you don’t have an enemy, you make an enemy… We look for things. Like if people really hated you and they were the enemy, people that just joked around about stuff wouldn’t be thought of as the enemy.”

“As the level of people truly hate you drops, you start looking for equilibrium at what you’re upset about. So now you’re more upset about jokes, now silence is violence. And now, you know, you can’t just be this, you have to be that. And it becomes this weird control level… when you start equating jokes with, like, real feelings, they’re not the same thing,” Rogan exclaimed.

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The podcast host railed against the notion that certain ideas can’t be “made fun of” is “dangerous” since it would lead to the conclusion that making fun of something is “done maliciously and out of hate.”

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“If you get down to Dave Chappelle’s real feelings, he a lovely person. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. He loves everybody, He’s not a hateful soul,” Rogan said. “He’s just a guy who loves this artful called stand-up comedy and he tries his best to navigate this world of talking sh– about things and saying outrageous things that get huge laughs or placating really sensitive groups that feel like they are in a protected class. And then the other people that pile on to that also feel this is a protected class and they equate any jokes with hate. This is when they’re wrong. I’m telling you, Dave Chappelle does not hate anyone or anything. His jokes are just that. They’re just jokes.”

“Just pay attention to the overall message. It is in no way transphobic. It’s just not,” Rogan added.

(Joe Rogan Experience//Mathieu Bitton/Netflix)

Rogan rejected efforts to get Netflix to take down Chappelle’s special, especially since he’s “clearly the most popular comedian on Planet Earth” and “one of the greatest comedians that has ever lived,” challenging his critics to “make your own special” responding to his remarks.

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He also accused the media that has fueled the outrage of creating a “journalistic version of The Streisand Effect” that’s encouraging more people to watch “The Closer.”

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