‘You Should Have Said No’

Comedian Patton Oswalt is “gonna keep trying.”

The stand-up comedian is facing backlash on social media for performing with Dave Chappelle on New Year’s Day. The unplanned performance happened when Oswalt was performing at a comedy venue next door to the arena where Chappelle was performing. Chappelle texted him to perform a guest set and Oswalt accepted the invitation, not realizing what a stir it would cause online.

Things started to go from bad to worse when Oswalt admitted that he “naively” started deleting comments that were criticizing him in order to try to contain some of the backlash against him. This only caused the controversy to grow, which resulted in Oswalt writing a lengthy apology to his fans on Instagram.

He then linked the post to his Twitter account and asked fans to read it. Although some seemed to accept the apology, others insisted that Oswalt had to do better, and others felt that Oswalt had nothing to apologize for in the first place.

Oswalt Insists He’s A ‘LGBTQ Ally,’ Fans Aren’t Sure

Many fans tried to explain to Oswalt exactly why they felt offended by his performance with Chappelle.

“Many trans people don’t have the luxury of maintaining long-lasting friendships, relationships, family because they are trans,” one person explained. “Maintaining your friendship with him is a privilege, & choosing to do so when it’s his, and others like his, rhetoric costing me the privilege of maintaining longtime important relationships. I’ve personally been shunned by my father and his side of the family and lost several lifelong friends for being trans. So many trans people have it much worse. The choice made was not one of an ally.”

Dave Chappelle

“By appearing with him in this way, you signal to everyone–including him– that you endorse his behavior and the harm he’s done,” another commented. “No one said you couldn’t be friends with him, but working with someone isn’t a prerequisite for friendship. You should have said no to the invite.”

“I wish everyone had the luxury that you do, to remain friends with someone who actively harms others,” another wrote. “Because you’re not the other getting harmed, you can safely wring your hands and say how hard it is. You’re no ally.”

“Nah man, you knew what he was about and did the show anyway,” another wrote. “You need to do a lot better than a boilerplate social media apology.”

‘Patton, You Don’t Owe Anyone Anything’

Patton Oswalt
Instagram / pattonoswalt

“Patton, you don’t owe anyone anything,” another added. “What we don’t need in our country is more division. There are some points of view where disagreements can happen. You can still be friends. Some people need friends to help them grow when they are ready.”

“I honestly believe that this woke generation may signal the end of comedy,” another wrote. “F— me the big bang theory is considered offensive these days. 10 years from now knock-knock jokes will be outlawed. It’s a f—ing joke people. If you don’t like it..dont watch it.”

“I’ve read so much hate & punching down on this thread,” another wrote. “I wish there was more compassion and support for the struggles we all have to face internally in this very conflicted society we live in. One post or one act shouldn’t leave you feeling like you’re walking on glass.”

“Very well stated, Patton,” another wrote. “Dave , as with a lot of people, still have learning to do when it comes to the LGBTQ community. And as far as your friendship with Dave goes . . . You have the right to disagree. Does he need more education on it? Yes he does, and I hope he seeks it.”

One person did accept Oswalt’s apology, however, writing, “I’m trans and missed this entire drama thank god but just want to say this seems like a very thoughtful response and I appreciate it.”


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