Dave Chappelle called singer Daniel Caesar “very gay”and was reluctant to apologise as the show host John Mayer tried to mediate.
As first reported by Complex, the comedian was meant to be introducing Caesar’s performance on Mayer’s Instagram Live show Current Mood.
The episode aired on Sunday (March 10) and Mayer has released a clip of him singing with Caesar, who recently won his first Grammy along with singer H.E.R. for Best R&B performance for the song “Best Part,” on Facebook.
It starts with Mayer saying that Chappelle had met Caesar for the first time that day, and heard him sing a little bit.
“Yeah, very gay,” Chappelle interjected, as someone off camera giggles.
Apparently stunned, Mayer says, “What?” prompting Chappelle to respond: “I’m sorry, did I say that out loud? I’m just kidding.”
It only gets more awkward from here.
“Did I offend you?”
— Dave Chappelle, after calling singer Daniel Caesar “very gay”
Chappelle continued to introduce Caesar as a “musician from Toronto that I just met tonight.” He then attempts at cracking a joke: “Black. I get jealous, I didn’t know John had other black friends.” Finally, he opted to compliment Caesar: “He’s amazing and he’s our musical guest tonight.”
Mayer initially tries to move on as if nothing had happened, asking the musician if he’s OK to set up. But Caesar, who is still off camera and off microphone, can be heard objecting.
“What I said?” Chappelle asked, looking, presumably, in Caesar’s direction, adding: “Did I offend you?”
A discussion ensues, with Mayer clarifying that both Chappelle and Caesar are drunk and trying to moderate between the two, asking the comedian to “clean up.”
“Dave, people just saw for a minute what happens when you speak freely and you have alcohol in your hand and you’re working through association and you accidentally say something that trips someone’s feelings up,” the “Say” singer said.
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“The wrong word is accidentally,” Chappelle interjected.
“Of course it’s an accident, but you’ve got to clean it up. It’s a three-second clean-up,” Mayer insisted, but Chappelle flatly refused.
The comedian once again complimented Caesar, but objected to him being offended as he is a comedian. Caesar eventually convinces himself he’s “being sensitive” and ends up hugging Chappelle on camera, telling him: “I am a very big fan of you, you know what I’m saying?”
“Now I feel bad because I made you feel bad,” Chappelle reacted, with Caesar telling him he shouldn’t. Mayer then turns the camera on himself and says “Guys, I think everything is OK.” Caesar confirmed: “Yes we’re friends now.”
Dave Chappelle has previously joked about LGBT people
The bizarre exchange between Chappelle, Mayer and Caesar adds to the list of jokes the comedian has made about LGBT+ people.
In his 2018 Netflix special, The Bird Revelation, the comedian noted that the trans community “hates him” and defended himself from former accusations of being transphobic saying: “Never had a problem with them. Ya know, just f***ing around. And a matter of fact I think I make fun of everybody, and I mean as a group of people they have to admit… it’s kind of f***ing hilarious man.”
Chappelle then added: “I do understand that life is hard, and that those types of choices do not disqualify you from a life with dignity and happiness and safety.”
In the same special, he also took aim at the allegations of sexual assault against Kevin Spacey, describing them as a situation in which the actor was “grabbing men by the p***y.”
Discussing the specific case of Anthony Rapp, the Star Trek actor who accused Spacey of making sexual advances on him when he was a teenager, Chappelle said: “Not to victim-blame, but it seems like the kind of situation that a gay 14-year-old kid would get himself into.”