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Dave Chappelle releases emotional new special addressing George Floyd, slams Don Lemon and celebrities

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Comedian doesn't hold back and speaks his mind in a very raw and powerful new special

Image source: YouTube Netflix video screenshot

Comedian Dave Chappelle released an emotional new special addressing George Floyd's death. In the new Netflix special, Chappelle steps away from comedy for the most part, and speaks his mind on Don Lemon, Candace Owens, Laura Ingraham, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant's death, police shootings, and celebrities.

Netflix released Chappelle's new special on YouTube titled, "8:46," a reference to the eight minutes and 46 seconds that former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd's neck. The powerful special was filmed June 6 in Beavercreek, Ohio, in front of a socially distanced crowd wearing masks. Chappelle lives in neighboring Dayton, Ohio.

Because of the coronavirus lockdown, Chappelle wasn't able to tour and test out his new material before releasing it online. Chappelle told the crowd, "This is weird and less than ideal circumstances to do a show."

He added, "Normally I wouldn't show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand."

"I want to shout out all the young people who have had the courage to go out and do this amazing work of protesting," Chappelle told the crowd as he started the special. "I am very proud of you."

Chappelle called out "CNN Tonight" host Don Lemon for telling celebrities to speak out about Floyd's death while in Minneapolis police custody.

"I'm watching Don Lemon, that hotbed of reality," Chappelle said. "[Lemon] says, 'Where are all these celebrities? Why are you not talking?'"

"I dare you to say me," Chappelle added.

"Has anyone ever listened to me doing comedy? Have I not ever said anything about these things before?" Chappelle asked.

"Answer me: Do you want to see a celebrity right now? Do we give a f*** what Ja Rule thinks? Does it matter about celebrity? No, this is the streets talking for themselves, they don't need me right now," Chappelle said. "I kept my mouth shut. And I'll still keep my mouth shut. But don't think my silence is complicit. … Why would anyone care what their favorite comedian thinks after they saw a police officer kneel on a man's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds?"

Two weeks ago, Lemon criticized celebrities for not being vocal enough about Floyd's death.

"What about Hollywood? Strangely quiet," Lemon said during his show. "Yes, I'm calling you out, and you can be mad at me all you want. And what they're doing, you're sitting there and watching TV and you're bitching about it. … Get on television or do something and help these young people instead of sitting in your mansions and doing nothing. And have some moral courage and stop worrying about your reputation and your brand."

(Content warning: rough language)

The stand-up comedian went after Fox News host Laura Ingraham for the time she told LeBron James to "shut up and dribble." Chappelle said LeBron is a "good guy" and a "family man." He noted that LeBron is the "best at something," while Ingraham "isn't the best at anything."

Chappelle also ripped into Candace Owens for bringing attention to Floyd's arrest record and his drug abuse.

"I've seen Candace Owens try to convince white America, 'Don't worry about it. He's a criminal anyway,'" Chappelle said.

The comedian then said he doesn't "give a f*** what" Floyd did before he was arrested and died in police custody.

Owens told Glenn Beck that she found it strange that George Floyd has been made a "martyr" and a "hero" despite being arrested multiple times.

Chappelle retorted, "Why does the black community make him a hero? Why did you choose him as a hero?' We didn't choose him; you did. They killed him and that wasn't right, so he's the guy."

Owens has since responded to Chappelle's criticism of her on Twitter:

"To every Democrat tweeting me the clip of #DaveChappelle insulting me: I'm not a leftist. I have a sense of humor & I think comedians SHOULD make fun of people. Dave Chappelle is one of the greatest comedians of all time and I made it into one of his specials. That's POWER!"

We've arrived too suddenly into a culture where people can't laugh at themselves, or want to restrain comedians. I will never be a part of that culture. @DaveChappelle —you are legend and I'd love to meet you and challenge you to say any of that to my face! All love!


Chappelle discussed the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Chris Dorner, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and John Crawford, who was shot by police while holding a BB gun at the Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. Chappelle also discussed cops being shot by black men in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"Nine cops get murdered in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter rally, I'll never forget it," Chappelle said. "It was the first time I ever thought, 'I gotta get my family out of this place.'"

Actually, five officers were killed and nine were injured in the July 2016 shooting in Dallas.

This story has been updated to include Candace Owen's response.

(Content warning: rough language):

8:46 - Dave Chappelle www.youtube.com

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