Patton Oswalt assures fans he supports trans rights after he was called out for a New Year’s Eve performance with Dave Chappelle, whose recent Netflix special The Closer was criticized for its controversial remarks about LGBTQ+ communities.
Oswalt was invited by longtime friend Chappelle to perform a surprise set after the latter discovered the pair were working in close proximity to one another in Seattle.
“Thirty four YEARS we’ve been friends,” Oswalt posted to Instagram on Sunday. “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. But we also 100% disagree about transgender rights & representation.”
He continued, “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. Impossible not to be hopeful and open and cheer them on.”
Oswalt also apologized to his followers whose critical comments he deleted, promising to continue to learn and grow from the experience.
“And I’m sorry, truly sorry, that I didn’t consider the hurt this would cause,” he wrote. “Or the DEPTH of that hurt. I’ve been messaging a lot on IG today, and the back and forth has really helped guide me in the writing of this. I (naively) deleted a lot of posts in the comment thread — critical ones from LGBTQ writers AND shit-posts by TERF/anti-trans orcs looking for clicks & giggles. I wanted a “nice comment thread” about the pic with my friend. Ugh. So easy to think someone ELSE needs growth and miss the need in yourself. Gonna keep trying.”
Read his full post in the Instagram post below.
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