Dave Chappelle returns to Netflix after ‘Closer’ with ‘Home Team’

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Although Dave Chappelle ended his previous special comedy deal with Netflix on a controversial note, the streaming service has announced a new four-part special featuring Chappelle’s hand-picked comedians.

The series, called The local Chappelle team, will premiere on February 28 with an episode highlighting the stand-up comic known as Earthquake. In addition to serving as executive producer, Chappelle will host “Earthquake: Legendary” before handing over the mic to the famed comedian.

Following the episode of Earthquake, Donnell Rawlings is the next member of “Chappelle’s Home Team” to get their own special, with a release date later this year.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and comedians like Quake and Donnell are not only friends but have inspired my own career,” Chappelle said in a statement. “Everyone in the comedy community knows these names and knows their time to shine is long overdue. I’m proud to be a part of this moment.”

Chappelle and Netflix previously criticized the comedian’s jokes aimed at the LGBTQ+ community in his 2021 special The closestwith streaming service employees staging a strike over both Netflix’s special and lukewarm response to the controversy.

Three employees were also briefly suspended after trying to attend a board meeting, including a trans employee, who criticized the special on Twitter.

In October, Netflix stood by its decision to release The closest while acknowledging the walkout and “the deep hurt that has been caused”. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, in a memo sent to staff, doubled down on his defense of the special and claimed that “on-screen content does not directly translate to actual harm.” After the memo leaked and drew more criticism, he apologized, saying in an interview, “Of course storytelling has real impact in the real world,” he acknowledged. “I say it again because that’s why I work here, that’s why we do what we do. This impact can be extremely positive, and it can be very negative. So, I would have been better in this communication.

While The Closer was billed as the final special of Chappelle’s massive exclusive deal with the streamer, Netflix remained committed to the comedian despite his “cancellation”, first recruiting him to headline their upcoming Netflix Is a Festival. Joke and now with sound Home team.

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