Dave Chappelle Finds Himself In Hot Water Once Again

Dave Chappelle's Netflix specials have found the comedian embroiled in controversy. After his special "The Closer" was released by the streaming giant on October 5, 2021, multiple factions of the LGBTQ+ community spoke out against jokes featured on the special they believed were homophobic. "Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities," GLAAD wrote, while retweeting a review of "The Closer," the day after it hit Netflix. Later that month, hundreds of Netflix employees staged a walkout in protest of the comedian. They joined a rally held outside the streaming company's offices. "This is a moment where we understand that it's one for all and all for one and we won't stop until justice is brought," activist Ashleey Marie Preston said at the time, according to CBS.

On October 25, Chappelle addressed the backlash in a five-minute video posted to Instagram that was filmed during a comedy set. "I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not?" Chappelle joked in the clip. He refuted the claims that his material was insensitive toward trans people. "[E]veryone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supportive," he said.

Earlier that year, Chappelle announced he was opening a comedy club and restaurant in the small town where he lives. However, that venture has since created a whole new controversy for the incendiary comic.

Why Dave Chappelle opposed a housing proposal

Many fans might be surprised to learn that not only is Dave Chappelle active in his community of Yellow Springs, Ohio, but he also often attends village council meetings. The iconic comedian had announced the development of his Chappelle Fireside Eatery along with the Live From YS comedy club in Yellow Springs, but was "adamantly opposed" to a 53-acre housing proposal within the community and threatened to pull the project. "If you push this thing through, what I'm investing in is no longer applicable," he said at a council meeting in December 2021, according to the Dayton Daily News. Part of the proposed development included affordable housing, which was the impetus for more controversy around Chappelle.

The comic attended another village council meeting on February 7 and doubled down on his threat. "I am not bluffing. I will take it all off the table," Chappelle said, according to a video posted by Yellow Springs Community Access on YouTube. This led to more backlash for the comedian, as reports circulated that he specifically opposed the affordable housing portion of the proposal, per TMZ.

According to a rep for Chappelle named Carla Sims, the issue Chappelle had with the development plan had little to do with cost-friendly pricing. "Dave Chappelle didn't kill affordable housing," Sims said, per TMZ. "Three out of 143 lots would have been for 'future' affordable housing. The rest of the homes were to be priced between $250k and upwards of $600k," Sims said in a statement defending Chappelle, per NBC News.