Channing Tatum Weighs in on Dave Chappelle, Netflix Controversy

Channing Tatum reveals he still supports Dave Chappelle as the comedian faces controversy due to his latest Netflix special, The Closer. Days before people gathered on Wednesday in protest of the streaming service and its continued support of Chappelle and his deemed transphobic content, the Magic Mike star shared a message about the comedian on his Instagram story along with a video of one of Chappelle's special moments. "I understand that Dave is a very dangerous person to talk about at the moment," Tatum started his post. "I understand and hate that he has hurt so many people with things he has said." 

"Any human can hurt someone (usually cause they're hurt) but any human can heal and heal others just the same," he continued."This little piece healed me back in the day. I can't forget that," Tatum added, before stressing "This does not excuse anything hurtful tho to be clear."

The video showed a clip of Chappelle's acceptance speech for the 2019 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. "I was a soft kid. I was sensitive, I'd cry easy and I would be scared to fistfight," Chappelle said during his speech. "My mother used to tell me this thing… 'Son, sometimes you have to be a lion so you can be the lamb you really are.' I talk this s–– like a lion. I'm not afraid of any of you. When it comes word to word, I will gab with the best of them, just so I can chill and be me."

"And that's why I love my art form, because I understand every practitioner of it. Whether I agree with them or not, I know where they're coming from," Chappelle added. "They want to be heard. They've got something to say. There's something they noticed. They just want to be understood. I loved this genre. It saved my life."


Despite numerous complaints from various LGBTQ organizations, Chappelle remains unscathed in the controversy. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos hasn't changed his stance on backing the comedian all the way through this ordeal. Variety reports Sarandos released a memo in response to the protests, reasserting his stance that specials with views like Chappelle's add to the overall diversity of the streamer's catalog. "We are working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren't defined by a single story," he wrote in his memo. "So we have Sex Education, Orange is the New Black, Control Z, Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself."