Comedian Dave Chappelle released a surprise Netflix special Friday morning, featuring several remarks about George Floyd's death. The special was even named 8:46, the length of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck on May 25. In one portion, Chappelle criticized CNN anchor Don Lemon, who once asked why more celebrities were not speaking out. Lemon later responded to the criticisms on New Day.
The entire 27-minute special was published on YouTube, making it available for anyone without a Netflix subscription. At one point, Chappelle told his audience he was watching Lemon, whom he referred to as "that hotbed of reality," as Lemon asked why celebrities were not speaking out early on. However, Chappelle said he does not think stars had to comment on Floyd's death immediately.
"Do you want to see a celebrity right now? Do we give a f— what Ja Rule thinks? Does it matter about celebrity? No," Chappelle said. "This is the streets talking for themselves. They don't need me right now. I kept my mouth shut… but don't think that 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 8 minutes and 46 seconds?"
Lemmon surprisingly said he partly agreed with Chappelle, whom he called his favorite comedian, during an appearance on New Day Friday morning, reports Variety. "I think that the young people who are out there in the streets don't really care what we have to say" in the "establishment," Lemon said. But Lemon believes now is "not a time for modesty," adding, "I think it's a moment that we should all be using our platform[s] to do whatever we can… at least to show those young people and the people out there that we support them." He went on to call the title of Chappelle's special, "ironic," considering his position on celebrities speaking out and invited the comedian to come on his show.
Chappelle's special also includes criticisms of Candace Owens, the Black conservative commentator who has often brought up Floyd's criminal record when discussing his death. "I seen Candace Owens try to convince white America, 'Don't worry about it. He's a criminal anyway,'" Chappelle said. "I don't give a f— what this n— did. I don't care what this n— did. I don't care if he personally kicked Candace Owens in her stanky p—. I don't know if it stanks, but I imagine it does. If I ever find out, I'll let you know for sure."
Floyd's death on May 25 has caused outrage across the country and reignited protests against racial inequality and police brutality. Chauvin was fired and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter and were fired as well.