Dave Chappelle speaks on George Floyd's death, protests in impactful Netflix '8:46' special
Comedian Dave Chappelle takes a serious tone in his new Netflix segment "8:46" and reports about George Floyd's death in police custody.
The title of the set, which aired on Netflix's YouTube comedy hub "Netflix Is A Joke" on Thursday, is an indication of Floyd's death, in which former cop Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 minutes .
"It's hard to figure out what to say about George Floyd," he said after his opening speech, and eventually began a dialogue that focused on his death and public discourse. He took the time to beat up conservative television host Laura Ingraham and political commentator Candace Owens for comments on the race in America, Floyd's death and ongoing protests.
"What do you mean that you can kneel on a man's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you won't get the wrath of God?" Chappelle asked. "That's exactly what is happening. It's not for a single policeman, it's for everything."
Dave Chappelle receives the Mark Twain Award for American Humor on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Chappelle dealt with police brutality and referred to Eric Garner, who died in a stranglehold by police officer David Pantaleo in Stoke Island in 2014. Michael Brown, who was shot in Ferguson in 2014 by police officer Darren Wilson; and Philando Castile, who was shot and killed several times by police officer Jeronimo Yanez in 2016 during a traffic disruption in Minnesota.
"It's not funny at all," he said.
He stayed calm before and noticed frustrated when he heard CNN's Don Lemon, "this hot bed of reality", wondering aloud where celebrities with comments were.
"Has anyone ever listened to me doing comedy? Have I never said anything about these things?" he said. "Do I expect to step out in the street and talk about these people's work?"
Chappelle claimed in the segment that he didn't think it was time for celebrities to step into the spotlight and into something he had pointed out several times.
Lemon responded Friday morning on CNN New Day that Chappelle called him on his set.
"Dave Chappelle is my favorite comedian and I don't care what Dave Chappelle says," Lemon said. "I actually agree with Dave Chappelle, I think the establishment has lagged somewhat."
Lemon went on to see himself as part of the "establishment" and believed that speaking was about showing support to the people on the street protesting.
"I think this is a moment, not a humble moment. I think this is a moment when we should all use our platform to do everything we can," said Lemon.
Chappelle wanted to make sure that the audience understood that his previous silence on this matter was no complicity: "These are the streets that speak for themselves, they don't need me at the moment.
"Call out all the young people who have had the courage to do all this amazing work and protest. I'm very proud of you," he said. "You children are excellent drivers, I feel comfortable in the back seat of the car, so keep going with the boys."
Chappelle described the 27-minute clip as the "first concert" in North America - apart from drive-in shows by other comedians.
USA TODAY asked Chappelle's representative for a comment.
Twitter viewers shared their thoughts on the special.
"Wow. It was brilliant, powerful, incredible," singer and songwriter Scarlett Rabe replied to Netflix Is A Joke's tweet by sharing the special.
"Dave Chappelle is the greatest comedian of my life," wrote Twitter user @KimKSidePiece. "The man just did a standup routine and didn't make a joke and still get a standing ovation. The power of his words is beyond any comedian I have." I've ever seen it. It matters to me what he has to say because he is so important to culture. Goat. "
And while Chappelle may think that people speak for themselves, people were grateful that he spoke out anyway.
"He spends 27 minutes telling us we don't have to hear from him, but it took my soul 27 minutes," wrote @jacquisneal, a Twitter user. "We may not need him. But I'm glad he's here."
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This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Netflix: Dave Chappelle talks about the death of George Floyd in the special '8:46'
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