Dave Chappelle Refuses To Apologize After Calling Singer Daniel Caesar Gay (Video)
Sunday night (March 10), Dave Chappelle and R&B singer Daniel Caesar made guest appearances on John Mayer’s Instagram Live show Current Mood. The encounter between the comedian and the “Get You” singer, however, was fumbling and awkward.
The moment Mayer introduces Daniel Caesar for a performance, Chappelle interjects and comments, “very gay.” “What?” Mayer reacts after processing what Chappelle said. Chappelle continued, “Huh? Oh, I’m sorry, did I say that out loud? I’m just kidding.”
After reading the room, which had scattered laughter, Chappelle counters with more humor. “Daniel Caesar is a musician from Toronto that I just met tonight — Black,” he continues. “I got jealous. I didn’t know John had other Black friends.”
“What the f*ck was that?” Caesar is heard saying off-camera. “What I said?” Chappelle responds. “Did I offend you?” “Yeah,” Caesar reveals.
John Mayer then steps in to handle damage control, getting both parties to agree that they were drunk. “Oh my God, if I fistfight tonight I’m going to be furious,” Chappelle continues to joke, ignoring Caesar’s obvious gripe.
“Dave,” Mayer continues, “People just saw for a minute what happens when you speak freely, and there’s alcohol in your hand, and you’re working free association, and you accidentally say something that trips someone’s feelings up.” “The wrong word is ‘accidentally,'” Chappelle interjects, double-downing on his initial joke.
“Of course it’s an accident, but you have to clean it up. It’s a three-second clean-up,” Mayer continues. “No!” Chappelle says. “The guy is working on for the first time on social media,” Mayer says, “I don’t want to speak for you.”
Chappelle then attempts to silence Mayer and speak toward the camera while addressing Caesar, who is still off camera: “Before this broadcast started, me and this brother sat at a piano. He played expertly, beautifully, I had never met him before. And I knew for a fact that I was in the presence of not just someone that was good, but someone that was great. But the fact that I offended you as a comedian…”
“I’m being sensitive,” Caesar says. “Correct,” Chappelle agrees. Mayer is heard in the background still attempting to steer the conversation, saying “I don’t think that’s true.” “I’m trying to think about this,” Caesar says. “Maybe I am being sensitive.” Chappelle countered, “Daniel, I thought about it. You are.” At the very end of the video, viewers see Caesar and Chappelle making up for the camera.
Notably, this is not the first time Chappelle has made remarks about members of the LGBTIQ+ community. On his first two Netflix specials, The Age Of Spin and Deep In The Heart Of Texas, Chappelle made jokes aimed toward both transgender and gay people within his act. At the time of those specials, The Guardian‘s Brian Logan analyzed the comedy of Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais, especially as it pertains to the LGBTIQ+ community. “[Dave] Chappelle spends substantial time across the two shows joking about gay and transgender people, usually from the perspective of a bemused straight man who finds those other identities inherently amusing,” wrote the author, who does not agree that comedians have license to say whatever they want under the auspices of “jokes.”
As the line between what’s funny and what’s offensive is shifting, Dave Chappelle and Daniel Caesar’s exchange may have shown some of that evolution in real-time.