Though he noted that it’s “very dangerous” to do so, Channing Tatum has waded into the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s new special for Netflix and accusations that it includes harmful transphobic remarks.
In a statement posted to Instagram Stories on Sunday, Tatum appeared to both show appreciation for Chappelle’s past work while acknowledging the “hurt” the comedian has caused with his latest special, The Closer, in which he describes himself as “Team TERF,” as in trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Tatum’s post included a link — reposted from comic D.L. Hughley — to Chappelle’s 2019 speech at the Kennedy Center to accept the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which the Magic Mike star credited with helping him.
“I understand that Dave is a very dangerous person to talk about at the moment,” Tatum wrote. “I understand and hate that he has hurt so many people with things he has said.
“Any human can hurt someone (usually cause they’re hurt) but any human can heal and heal others just the same,” he continued. “This little piece healed me back in the day. I can’t forget that.”
The clip features Chappelle sharing the advice his mother gave him when he was a “sensitive” child.
“I was a soft kid,” the comedian says in the clip. “I was sensitive, I’d cry easy and I would be scared to fistfight. My mother used to tell me this thing… ’Son, sometimes you have to be a lion so you can be the lamb you really are.’ I talk this s**t like a lion. I’m not afraid of any of you. When it comes word to word, I will gab with the best of them, just so I can chill and be me.
“And that’s why I love my art form, because I understand every practitioner of it. Whether I agree with them or not, I know where they’re coming from. They want to be heard. They’ve got something to say. There’s something they noticed. They just want to be understood. I loved this genre. It saved my life.”
Tatum added that his admiration for Chappelle’s past work “does not excuse anything hurtful [though] to be clear.”