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Jay-Z Weighs In On Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Special: ‘Art Has to Cause Conversations’

November 8, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Dave Chappelle The Closer Netflix Image Credit: Mathieu Bitton/Netflix

Jay-Z recently shared his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s recent Netflix special, saying that “true art has to cause a conversation.” As you likely know, Chapelle’s special that released on Neftlix last month, The Closer drew serious controversy for the comedian’s jokes and comments about the trans community. The special was a source of tension at Netflix, where employees walked out to protest the streamer’s refusal to remove the special.

Chappelle has gotten support from Netflix head Ted Serandos as well as several celebrities including 50 Cent and Caitlyn Jenner. Jay-Z was asked about the comments during a conversation on Twitter Spaces with Craig Jenkins on Friday and said he had seen the special, acknowledging (per Vulture that there were parts that made him uncomfortable.

He added, “But I think that what happens with true art is it has to cause conversation. And, you know, sometimes it’s gonna be abrasive and sometimes it’s gonna be off-putting to folks. But it opens up an opportunity to have a dialogue about, you know, whatever the issue is.”

Jay added, “I think that Dave is super brave and super genius. If you spend time with him, he’s brilliant. I think he pushed a lot of buttons … These algorithms allow you to talk to people who agree with you. We have to speak to one another when we disagree… Anything that doesn’t have that tension, it’s not going to be real. We had fake conversations all this time before Trump was in office, then we got to see people for who they really were. And then we got to have real conversations.”

He continued, “I think great art is divisive. Some people like it, some people hate it. When you’re making great art, you have to be fearless and create something that you believe in. That’s what it’s about.”

Chappelle and Barack Obama (the latter by a prerecorded video) inducted Jay into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in October.