Patton Oswalt apologizes for ‘hurting’ fans by performing with Dave Chappelle following transgender controversy

Image of Patton Oswalt and Dave Chappelle embracing
Patton Oswalt got hit with criticism for friendship with Dave Chappelle. Pic credit: @pattonoswalt/Instagram

Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt caused a bit of controversy after posting a friendly New Year’s Eve photo with Dave Chappelle. The 52-year-old stand-up comedian shared that a fun snap on Instagram of the due, writing that he was invited to do a guest set at Chappelle’s show.

He later expressed that he didn’t anticipate the backlash he received due to Chappelle’s recent controversy with the transgender community.

Oswalt has been active in the comedy community for over three decades. He has starred in the television shows Community, Parks and Recreation, and Two and a Half Men. He also has an award-winning Netflix special called Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping.

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Patton Oswalt shares image embracing Dave Chappelle

Ringing in the New Year, on January 1, Oswalt posted an image of him standing alongside Chapelle after making a surprise appearance at his show. The two were all smiles as Chappelle smoked a cigarette and wrapped his arm around the other comedian.

Oswalt wrote, “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. Why not? I waved good-bye to this h**l-year with a genius I started comedy with 34 years ago.” He continued to praise the other comedian, adding, “He works an arena like he’s talking to one person and charming their skin off. Anyway, I ended the year with a real friend and a deep laugh. Can’t ask for much more.”

At the time of writing, the post is sitting on Oswalt’s Instagram account with over 57,000 likes.

Patton Oswalt apologizes with lengthy Instagram post

Following his post, Oswalt was accused of endorsing Chappelle’s poorly-received takes on the transgender community which arose from his latest Netflix special, The Closer. Oswalt instantly added some insight into the post and apologized to those whose feelings were hurt.

Posting an image of him sitting in front of a vanity and writing on a notepad, Oswalt expressed, “I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time this New Year’s Eve. We’ve known each other since we’re teens. He’s a fellow comedian, the funniest I’ve ever met. I wanted to post a pic & an IG story about it — so I did. The friend is Dave Chappelle.”

His lengthy post goes into their history as comedians and friends. Directly addressing the controversy, Oswalt commented, “But 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.”

He concluded his explanation with a promise to “keep on trying.” He shared, “And I’m sorry, truly sorry, that I didn’t consider the hurt this would cause. 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.”

Oswalt will next star in Netflix’s The Sandman series, expected to premiere in 2022.

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