Chappelle Special on Netflix sparks criticism, internal unrest



“Netflix has gone from being an outsider to an outsider pushing the establishment into the epicenter of the Hollywood establishment,” he said. “When you are in the center, everything is magnified 100 times. This is going to happen more and more as society itself grapples with these issues. With Netflix, what will further complicate matters is that it is a global company with massive international ambitions.

Mr. Chappelle, 48, has had a long and celebrated career, winning an Emmy for his 2018 Netflix special, “Equanimity,” and Grammys for albums from the Netflix specials “The Age of Spin,” “Deep in the Heart of Texas ”and“ Sticks and Stones. ”In 2019, he won the Mark Twain Award for American Comedy. Last year, he received critical acclaim from critics for“ 8:46, ”a show sincere about the death of George Floyd and the difficult state of race relations in America.

He made his reputation in large part thanks to “Chappelle’s Show”, a series of comedy Central sketches, and created a legend for himself when he walked away from it after having doubts about his own success. In particular, he said Time magazine in 2005, he worried when he heard a white man laugh at a skit that satirized racial stereotypes and wondered if his material was not being misinterpreted. “When he laughed it made me uncomfortable,” he said.

Critical reaction to “The Closer” has been mixed, with most critics acknowledging Mr. Chappelle’s comedic skills while questioning whether his desire to fend off his detractors had led him to adopt rhetorical tactics favored by the trolls of Internet. Roxane Gay, in an opinion column for The Times, noted “five or six lucid moments of brilliance” in a special that includes “a joyless tirade of incoherent and seething rage, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia” .

Last week, as controversy over the special mounted, Mr. Chappelle made an appearance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. In response to a standing ovation, he told the crowd, “If that’s how to be canceled, I love it.”


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