Dave Chappelle isn’t exactly known for being politically correct or being afraid to speak his mind. And his latest Netflix stand-up special, ‘Stick and Stones’ is the best proof. It wasn’t out of line with most of the specials he recorded for Netflix in the past few years, but this one gave him significant backlash.
Michael Jackson and R. Kelly sex scandals, the cancel culture, the Jussie Smollett case, transgender are some of the few topics he poked fun at that sparked controversy.
“[It’s] like dropping in on a rascally uncle who doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, how much he’s disappointing you,” said Inkoo Kang, a critic for Slate.
The show was sitting at 0 % on Rotten Tomatoes until it reached 17 % recently. Showing the division the stand-up caused, the special has been rated 8.5 out of 10 on IMDb.
“If you do anything wrong in your life, and I find out about it, I’m gonna try and take everything away from you… if I find out, you’re f**king finished,” he says about the cancel culture. He also said he did not believe Michael Jackson’s accusers, defended Kevin Hart over his homophobic comments that cost him hosting the 2019 Oscars and joked about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. “That man, with that job, hung himself from a luxury suite in France,” he said.
The topics Chappelle talked about were meant to provoke and divide audiences directly. And, boy, they did. Many have roasted Chappelle for his approach, while others have criticized Rotten Tomatoes for its low rating.
Whoever’s right, Chappelle achieved his goal. He wanted to have the most famous stand-up comedy special of the decade, and he has it.