Patton Oswalt has declared his support for the transgender community after posting a photo with Dave Chappelle.
In October, Chappelle faced criticism for his Netflix special “The Closer,” which was critical of the trans community and received backlash from LGBTQ activists.
Over the weekend, the 52-year-old comedian posted a photo of himself and Chappelle on his Instagram page, explaining that they had run into each other on New Year’s Eve after finishing a stand-up set.
“Finished me set at @mccawhall and got a text from @davechappelle. Come over to the arena he’s performing in next door and do a guest set,” he shared. “Why not? I waved good-bye to this hell-year with a genius that I started comedy with 34 years ago.”
Following the post, the Emmy-winner defended his association with the 48-year-old, noting that the two came up in comedy together and have been friends for 34 years.
“He’s refocused and refined ideas a lot of us took as settled about race & history & Life On Planet Earth and spun them around with a phrase or punchline. We’ve done bad & good gigs, open mikes & TV tapings,” Oswalt explained. “We also 100% disagree about transgender rights & representation. I support trans peoples’ rights – ANYONE’S rights – to live safely in the world as their fullest selves.
“For all the things he’s helped ME evolve on, I’ll always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues. But I also don’t believe a seeker like him is done evolving, learning. You know someone that long, see the struggles and changes, it’s impossible to cut them off,” he added.
“Impossible not to be hopeful and open and cheer them on. Also, I’ve been carrying a LOT of guilt about friends I’ve cut off, who had views with which I couldn’t agree, or changed in ways I couldn’t live with. Sometimes I wonder – did I and others cutting them off make them dig their heels in deeper, fuel their ignorance with a nitro-boost of resentment and spite?”
The “Goldbergs” star concluded by calling himself an LGBTQ ally and a “loyal friend,” traits that he needs “to reconcile myself, and not let cause feels of betrayal in ANYONE else.”
In addition, he apologized to those who were hurt by the photo and for deleting comments.