Dave Chappelle‘s return to Netflix — possibly the most politically incorrect 1 hour and 5 minutes on TV since the Archie Bunker era — is dividing viewers, with some accusing him of racism, transphobia and “stale bigotry,” as others cheered the 46-year-old for deftly skewering anyone and everyone.
On “Sticks & Stones,” the Grammy Award-winner lampoons the LGBTQ community as “alphabet people,” makes fun of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide and defends several famous men accused of sexual assault, including Michael Jackson and Louis C.K.
“I don’t believe this motherf—ers,” Chappelle said of Jackson’s accusers in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland.”
“I know it seems harsh, but somebody’s gotta teach these kids — no such thing as a free trip to Hawaii,” he quipped.
Chappelle also went to bat for his “very good friend” Louis C.K. and said the comedian — accused by several women of masturbating in front of them — wasn’t hurting anyone.
“[He] didn’t do anything that you can call the police for,” Chappelle said. “They ruined this n—-‘s life.”
Unimpressed, Owen Ellickson accused Chappelle of using the comedy special to stick up for his pals — calling it “stale bigotry” and “a little pathetic.”
“Dave Chappelle used to be really insightful about how power works; he’s tossed that insight aside to maintain the illusion that he and his buddies can do no wrong,” Ellickson wrote.
“Who would have thought that transphobic jokes would be the hill that such a smart talented comedian needs to die on?” asked Taylor Hosking.
“Yikes,” wrote blogger Stephanie Yeboah, “He really wants people to cancel him.”
But cancel culture is exactly what Chappelle was criticizing, beginning the show by lashing out at the audience and society for ruining people’s lives based on past misdeeds.
“That’s why I don’t be coming out doing comedy all the time,” he said. “‘Cause y’all n—– is the worst motherf—–s I’ve ever tried to entertain.”
For the most part, the provocative special only earned the comedy legend more love with his fans — including the people he was making fun of.
“He told jokes about gay people and guess what happened? I laughed. My girlfriend laughed,” tweeted Astrid K. “Neither of us died.”
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