In a follow-up Instagram post
, Oswalt emphasized that just because he showed up on Chappelle’s stage doesn’t mean he supports everything about him.
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 he also made it clear he was struggling with this call, emphasizing Chappelle was a “seeker” who could still evolve on the issue. He also had broader issues at play beyond Chappelle:
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 don’t think Oswalt made the right move by choosing to publicly emphasize that friendship with that person, at that time, in that way. But I understand why he wanted to, and can appreciate the thought process. Being on the other side of a personal relationship with someone who is facing controversy is not fun, and it tests your loyalties in important ways. I’ve seen this myself in the journalism space, and it led to some tough decisions about how close I stayed with some people. So I understand it.
Sometimes the call is harder than it looks, even if it means shouldering the weight of that controversy yourself.