Patton Oswalt ended 2021 with a surprise show with his longtime friend Dave Chappelle, and he started 2022 by justifying that decision. In an Instagram post on Sunday, Jan. 2, Oswalt defended his friendship with Chappelle, apologizing for not considering “the damage it would cause,” and saying that he and his old friend, “100% disagree on transgender rights and representation. “
Oswalt ended the year with a performance at McCaw Hall in Seattle, while Chappelle also performed at the nearby Climate Pledge Arena. As Oswalt wrote in a January 1 post, he “I ended up at @mccawhall and got a text from @davechappelle. Go to the arena he’s performing next door and do a guest set. Why not? I lost this hell of a year to a genius I started in comedy 34 years ago.He worked in an arena like he was talking to someone and attracting their skin.However, I ended up years of a true friend and a deep laugh. Can’t ask for more. “
The comments on that post quickly became warlike. Others criticized Oswalt for his apparent endorsement of Chappelle after his transphobic comments, including acknowledging that “Team TERF,” uses the term for a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Others defended Chappelle and/or bashed the transgendered community.
Initially, Oswalt said, “I (naively) deleted a lot of comment thread posts-critics from LGBTQ writers AND shit-posts by TERF/anti-trans orcs looking for clicks & giggles. I wanted to have ‘nice comment thread ‘about the pic with my friend.But soon he felt like he was called to explain himself.
In his January 2nd post, Oswalt said, “We have known each other since we were teenagers… We have been friends for thirty-four YEARS. He refines and refines ideas that most of us take as settled about race and history and Life On Planet Earth and twists them using a phrase or punchline. We’ve done some bad and good gigs, open mikes and TV tapings.
He continued, “We also 100% disagree about the rights and representation of transgender people. I support the rights of trans people – THE rights of ANYONE – to live safely in the world as their full self. For all things he helps me improve, I always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues.