Dave Chappelle, whose special “The Closer” was widely criticized by trans workers and allies as transphobic and homophobic, is among over 130 comedians whom Netflix has tapped to headline its comedy festival.
Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival, which will be held in Los Angeles, will be hosted from April 28 to May 8 across more than 25 venues, including the Greek Theatre, the Hollywood Bowl and Crypto.com Arena (formerly known as the Staples Center), Netflix announced Monday.
Chappelle — who was embroiled in controversy after his special was released in October — is expected to headline the Hollywood Bowl.
Other notable performers include Ali Wong, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, Tina Fey and Wanda Sykes.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the decision to include Chappelle.
In a statement in Netflix's news release, Robbie Praw, the company's director of standup and comedy formats, said “it’s absolutely thrilling for Netflix to be hosting a comedy festival of this magnitude in Los Angeles."
"Netflix Is A Joke Festival is going to give comedy fans the opportunity to see the greats and discover new voices in one of the greatest cities in the world," Praw said.
The festival was expected to debut in 2020, but like many other events, it was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We were so disappointed to postpone the event last spring and our line-up of comedians can’t wait to bring much needed laughs to audiences in LA and around the world on Netflix," Praw said.
Many people in the LGBTQ community accused Chappelle of transphobia and homophobia for his remarks about transgender identity in his comedy special. The special prompted dozens of Netflix employees to walk out of the company's headquarters in Los Angeles on Oct. 20.
CEO Ted Sarandos, who has supported the special’s continued presence on the platform, said Oct. 19 that he “screwed up“ when it came to communicating with employees hurt by Chappelle’s words.
The festival lineup includes “Stand Out: An LGBTQ+Celebration,” which will be recorded as a special. Performers include Bob the Drag Queen, Eddie Izzard, Fortune Feimster, Gina Yashere, Guy Branum, James Adomian, Joel Kim Booster, Judy Gold, Mae Martin, Margaret Cho, Marsha Warfield, Matteo Lane, Patti Harrison, River Butcher, Sam Jay, Sandra Bernhard, Scott Thompson, Solomon Georgio, Tig Notaro, Trixie Mattel and Sykes.
Tickets go on sale Dec. 10.