The comedian took to PBS NewsHour to discuss the criticism against his controversial jokes on the #MeToo movement as well as Bill Cosby’s rape conviction.
Dave Chappelle does and doesn’t think audiences are overly sensitive now about what comedians are allowed to joke about.
“Sometimes, I think that we’re painfully desensitized because we’re bombarded by so much information,” Chappelle said to PBS NewsHour‘s Jeffrey Brown. “And then other times, I think people — it’s just — there’s a lot to be mad at, especially when you know so much.”
From there, the conversation shifted to his jokes about the #MeToo movement. The comedian received criticism for some jokes he made during his Netflix specials, including one where he dismissed a victim of Louis C.K.‘s sexual misconduct as having a “brittle spirit.”
Chappelle said he doesn’t “mind that people get upset” and has found the criticism “helpful,” before adding:
“…we’re all figuring this out, I think, at the same time together. This is a huge collective moment. But, as a comedian, that can be a very, very difficult thing not to talk about. As a human, it’s a very difficult thing not to feel, to be indifferent to it. Everywhere you look in America, everyone’s pushing the line in one way or another.”
During the interview, Chappelle also spoke on Bill Cosby who was another person addressed during his Netflix specials. The comedian recalled watching one of Cosby’s victims sobbing outside the courtroom after he was found guilty, telling Brown:
“Justice was meted out for this woman. And it didn’t look gleeful. You know what I mean? Like, it’s tough to see your heroes fall, let alone be a villain. I was explaining to some of my younger family members, like, who he was at one point, juxtaposed to what’s happened now. It’s astounding. And it’s sad, for everybody.”
Recently, Chappelle served as a guest host for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert with harmonica player Frédérick Yonnet.