Dave Chappelle performed Thursday night (February 14) to two sold-out audiences in Charlotte, North Carolina and Jeff Taylor, reporting for NewNoxNext, was at the first of the two performances. He heard a variety of topics discussed including the Kevin Hart Oscars controversy, his own critics in the transgender community, and the Jussie Smollett case. He reports,
“He informed the crowd of breaking news, which was inaccessible to those of us in attendance, as he had employed the use of Yondr to lock up people’s phones: Smollett had, in Chappelle’s words, faked the attack against him to stay on Empire.
Chappelle joked that it made him so mad he wanted to break a dollhouse over the star’s head, referencing one of the jokes that brought criticism to Hart.
At showtime it had just been reported that sources said there was reason to believe the attack was faked, but Chicago police tweeted out in response that there was
‘no evidence to say that this is a hoax.’
Fox also denied the rumor that he was being written off the show. It seems Chappelle had not received that information.
He questioned a number of elements of Smollett’s story, saying he was skeptical from the beginning, despite wanting to believe him. Even Scooby-Doo, he joked, would have questioned the veracity of the actor and singer’s account.
Chappelle suggested Smollett wouldn’t be going to Subway late at night, asking,
‘He doesn’t have people who can do that for him?’
He also said it seemed odd to him that someone would be wearing both a ski mask and a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, as some reporting claimed the two alleged attackers were wearing. Smollett has said that he never claimed the men were wearing MAGA hats.
Chapelle said that Smollett said one of the men asked him,
“Aren’t you that faggot Empire n*gger?”
Chappelle doubted that. He also didn’t buy that Smollett’s alleged attackers would have shouted,
“This is MAGA country!”
Smollett just denied saying that in a recent interview about the attack,
“I never said that. I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a f*ggot, they called me a n*gger. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on some racist sundae.“
Taylor says that Chapelle,
“repeatedly expressed his anger that, in his belief, Smollett had lied about the attack, saying it would hurt the credibility of real victims of anti-gay and racist violence.
‘Hopefully the gays will take the brunt of this‘
He noted that Kevin Hart, who won’t be hosting the Oscars after all due to unearthed homophobic tweets and jokes, was probably watching the news laughing to himself. Hart had reached out to offer support to Smollett and was chastised by many who said it was an example of why he should have been more responsible with his platform.”
Chappelle addressed his critics in the LGBTQ community, which he called
“the alphabet people.”
Transgender people in particular are apparently upset with him and he said that he didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and felt bad when he did. But he said people are only really mad at him
“on the internet.”
Chappelle said, to applause and laughter,.
“Just because you’re gay doesn’t make you right about every goddamn thing. You right about a lot of shit, but I mean… just give these people their rights so I can say funny shit again.“
He also recalled being asked by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen if he could ever host the Oscars, to which he replied:
“Well, if Kevin can’t, fuck, I’m sure I can’t. I’ve said way worse than that.”
He finished his set by saying,
“If I ever get in trouble for the things I say, I’ll say it right now: I’m going to apologize. Just know, I’m not sorry.”
On Friday, two suspects, Nigerian brothers, were arrested in connection with the attack on Smollett. One of the men worked on Empire, police report.
(Photos, YouTube; via NewNoxNext)