Chappelle denies he refused to meet transgender staff at Netflix

LOS ANGELES : US comedian Dave Chappelle on Monday addressed the transgender controversy at Netflix in full for the first time on a video on his Instagram account, five days after about 100 people protested near the streaming company's headquarters.

The employee backlash began after Netflix Inc decided to release his new comedy special, The Closer, which critics say ridicules transgender people.

"It's been said in the press that I was invited to speak to transgender employees at Netflix and I refused," Chappelle said in the video.

"That is not true. If they had invited me, I would have accepted it. Although I am confused about what we are speaking about... You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. Well it seems like I'm the only one that can't go to the office anymore."

He added: "I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames this as me versus that community, it's not what it is."

Chappelle also said that after the controversy, he began getting disinvited from film festivals that had accepted a documentary he made last summer, and that he is now making that documentary available in 10 American cities.

"Thank god for (Netflix chief content officer) Ted Sarandos and Netflix," Chappelle said.

"He's the only one who didn't cancel me yet." - REUTERS