Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart kick off a limited three-city run at Wang Theatre at Boch Center on June 13, 2018
Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart kick off a limited three-city run at Wang Theatre at Boch Center on June 13, 2018
Photo by Kevin Mazur for Pilot Boy via Getty Images.

Jon Stewart Stands By Dave Chappelle Amidst Netflix Controversy: "His Intention is Never Hurtful"

Dave Chappelle gains another character witness as he fends off the backlash from his new stand-up special, The Closer.

Jon Stewart is the latest comedian to come to the defense of Dave Chappelle in the wake of the controversy surrounding The Closer, his new set for Netflix.

In a recent run-in with TMZ outside of Capitol Hill, Stewart stood by his friend and colleague, acting as yet another character witness in the ongoing litigation of the motives behind some of the transphobic material in Chappelle's latest special. "He's one of my favorite people on the planet," Stewart tells the publication when asked how he felt about the response to The Closer, holding off from sharing his thoughts on the content of the special. Stewart goes on to address the stand-off between Netflix and its own employees, who staged a walkout earlier this week in solidarity with LGBTQ groups. "I'm sure that communication is probably, hopefully, the way through. But like, I love that dude as a person. He's just warm and wise and all those things," Stewart noted.

Addressing a potential sitdown between Chappelle and the protesting Netflix employees, Stewart thinks that could be a step in the right direction. "If this spurs a conversation where people get more on the same page in terms of understanding, that'd be great. But I know his intention is never hurtful. Like, he's just not that type of person," the former Daily Show host adds.

Whether that chat actually happens remains uncertain. During the walkout action at Netflix headquarters in Los Angeles on Wednesday, activist and organizer, Ashlee Marie Preston, claimed to have extended an invite to the comedian for a "transformative dialogue about the harm that was committed." Preston also claims Chappelle "chose not to show up," which has been contested by the comedian's camp. They say Chappelle is willing to have the talk, but never actually got that invite and weren't sure why Preston would suggest otherwise.