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Dave Chappelle to headline show at Netflix’s inaugural comedy festival after controversial special

·2 min read
(Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival)

Dave Chappelle is set to work with Netflix again and will open its inaugural comedy festival at Hollywood Bowl with his show Dave Chappelle and Friends, despite the backlash against his recent special The Closer.

Netflix is pulling out all the stops for an 11-day comedy festival in Los Angeles next year.

With a line-up of 130 prominent stand-up comedians, including Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Amy Poehler, and Ellen Degeneres, Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival is scheduled to take place at multiple locations in LA between 28 April and 2 May next year.

The “biggest comedy event in history” was originally supposed to take place in April last year, but was postponed amid rising coronavirus cases and national lockdowns in many parts of the world.

Chappelle’s special, which was released on 5 October this year, came under fire for being “transphobic” after the Emmy-winning comedian said he was “Team TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist)” like Harry Potter author JK Rowling, and that “gender is a fact”.

In the wake of The Closer, the company’s trans employees and Netflix talent have criticised the special and Netflix’s decision to release it. The trans employee who first called Netflix and Chappelle out publicly has since resigned, tweeting a copy of her resignation from Netflix on 22 November.

Chappelle responded to the backlash in a video on Instagram, saying he will “not be bending to anyone’s demands”.

In an alleged bid to make the festival line-up more inclusive, Netflix has also programmed a special LGBT+ celebration event that will feature talent like Wanda Sykes, Eddie Izzard, Margaret Cho and Tig Notaro.

While Netflix is still adding details to the festival website, confirmed shows include a free-wheeling conversation between 30 Rock creator Tina Fey and Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler at the YouTube Theatre on 7 May, 2022.

Comedian Hasan Minhaj and The Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng will roast each other on 6 and 7 May, and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias will make history as the first stand-up comedian to perform at the baseball park Dodger Stadium.

Pre-sale tickets will be available on Tuesday (7 December) and tickets for all events will go on sale on Friday (10 December) here.

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