Popular podcaster Joe Rogan come to the defence of fellow comedian Dave Chappelle, who is in the midst of a cancel campaign for poking fun at transgender people in his controversial Netflix special, The Closer.
In his podcast on Tuesday, Rogan warned that “ideas that you can’t make fun of are dangerous.”
On Wednesday, a group of transgender Netflix employees and their allies staged a walkout in front of the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles. It devolved into a spectacle when two comedians showed up in support of Chappelle with signs reading “Jokes are Funny.”
One of the comedians, Vito Gesualdi, was physically accosted by a member of the Netflix protest group who ripped up his sign. Members of the group proceeded to accuse him of brandishing a weapon while pushing him out of the location.
Footage of the chaos was shared on social media by journalists who reported on the event.
In Rogan’s podcast, Rogan, who described Chappelle as a friend, said “he’s just riding out the storm.”
“He’s not a homophobic or transphobic person,” Rogan explained to guest Michael Malice. “He makes fun of himself. There’s a bit in that special about him getting molested and j***ing off on a man’s face or c***ing in a man’s face. Look, it’s fun. It’s just making jokes. That doesn’t mean hate. This is the problem with today: if you don’t have an enemy, you make an enemy. And this is a real problem with people. We look for things.”
Rogan warned that attempting to silence comedians for their jokes is in itself dangerous. “These ideas that you can’t make fun of are dangerous,” he said.
“They’re not good for anybody,” he continued. “They’re not good for the people who hold those ideas. Whether it’s about who you are or what you do, the idea that no fun can be had about any of this is crazy because the idea is that then all fun is done maliciously and out of hate. And we know as friends that is just not true.”
Rogan, who says he knows Chappelle personally, says that those who feel personally affronted by the comedian believe they are in a “protected class” and that they should be immune from being joked about.
“If you get down to Dave Chappelle’s real feelings, he’s a lovely person,” said Rogan. “He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. He loves everybody. He’s not a hateful soul. He’s beyond jealous. He’s just a guy who loves this art form called stand-up comedy and he tries to do his best navigating this world of talking sh*t about things and saying outrageous things that get huge laughs, or placating really sensitive groups that feel like they’re in a protected class and then the other people that pile onto that, that also feel like this is a protected class. They equate any jokes with hate and this is where they’re wrong.”