What Exactly Did Patton Oswalt Say About That New Year's Eve Photo With Dave Chappelle?

Patton Oswalt has shared a statement in which he apologized and defended his decision to take and share a photo with Dave Chappelle.

On New Year's Eve, the comedian took to Instagram and posted a photograph of himself with Chappelle, who has sparked controversy over anti-transgender comments he made in his Netflix comedy special The Closer.

In the stand-up special Chappelle made jokes about the transgender community and declared himself a "TERF", which is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

Chappelle's comments prompted public outcry and also spurred protests and walkouts at Netflix's company offices. However the company itself stood by the comedian.

Oswalt's post saw him pose with Chappelle, and he wrote in the caption: "Finished me set at @mccawhall and got a text from @davechappelle. Come over to the arena he's performing in next door and do a guest set.

"Why not? I waved good-bye to this hell-year with a genius I started comedy with 34 years ago.

"He works an arena like he's talking to one person and charming their skin off. Anyway, I ended the year with a real friend and a deep laugh. Can't ask for much more."

This led to him to be criticized for his association with Chappelle, according to NBC, and the comedian later admitted he deleted negative comments from his Instagram post in a bid to have a "nice comment thread."

Patton Oswalt's statement about his New Year's Eve photo with Dave Chappelle in full

On January 2, Oswalt shared an Instagram post in which he made a lengthy statement regarding his photo with Chappelle, and he both defended and apologized for the post.

His statement read in full:

Oswalt wrote: "I saw a friend I hadn't seen in a long time this New Year's Eve. We've known each other since we're teens. He's a fellow comedian, the funniest I've ever met. I wanted to post a pic & an IG story about it — so I did.

"The friend is Dave Chappelle. Thirty four YEARS we've been friends. He's refocused and refined ideas a lot of us took as settled about race & history & Life On Planet Earth and spun them around with a phrase or punchline. We've done bad & good gigs, open mikes & TV tapings.

"But we also 100% disagree about transgender rights & representation. I support trans peoples' rights — ANYONE'S rights — to live safely in the world as their fullest selves.

"For all the things he's helped ME evolve on, I'll always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues.

"But I also don't believe a seeker like him is done evolving, learning. You know someone that long, see the struggles and changes, it's impossible to cut them off. Impossible not to be hopeful and open and cheer them on.

"Also, I've been carrying a LOT of guilt about friends I've cut off, who had views with which I couldn't agree, or changed in ways I couldn't live with. Sometimes I wonder — did I and others cutting them off make them dig their heels in deeper, fuel their ignorance with a nitro-boost of resentment and spite?

"I'm an LGBTQ ally. I'm a loyal friend. There's friction in those traits that I need to reconcile myself, and not let cause feels of betrayal in ANYONE else.

"And I'm sorry, truly sorry, that I didn't consider the hurt this would cause. Or the DEPTH of that hurt. I've been messaging a lot on IG today, and the back and forth has really helped guide me in the writing of this.

"I (naively) deleted a lot of posts in the comment thread — critical ones from LGBTQ writers AND s**t-posts by TERF/anti-trans orcs looking for clicks & giggles.

"I wanted a "nice comment thread" about the pic with my friend. Ugh. So easy to think someone ELSE needs growth and miss the need in yourself. Gonna keep trying."

Correction 01/05/2022 8.46 a.m. EST: This article was updated to correct a misspelling of Dave Chappelle's surname.

Patton Oswalt
Patton Oswalt attends Apple's "Ted Lasso" Season 2 Premiere at Pacific Design Center on July 15, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. The comedian issued an apology after sharing a photo with Dave Chappelle on New Year's Day. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic