Don Lemon has responded to Dave Chappelle's latest surprise stand-up special. In the special, which is available for free on YouTube, Chappelle took aim at Lemon's thoughts on black celebrities and their voices during these troubling times. The CNN news anchor recently called on Chappelle and other celebrities to come forward and publicly express support for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. Protests have been going on for nearly three weeks all over the world as video spread of a white police officer killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.
In Dave Chappelle's 8:46 special (the title refers to how long Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd's neck), he takes aim at Don Lemon's criticism. Dave Chappelle was watching CNN when Lemon called on black celebrities to use their voices. Chappelle recalls, "[Lemon] says, 'Where are all these celebrities? Why are you not talking?' This n----- said, 'Everybody.' I was screaming at the TV, 'I dare you to say me, n-----, I dare you!'" Lemon obviously brought up the comedian by name, which further angered him. He explains.
"Has anyone ever listened to me doing comedy? Have I not ever said anything about these things before? So now all of a sudden this n----- expects me to step in front of the streets and talk over the work these people are doing as a celebrity. Answer me: Do you want to see a celebrity right now? Do we give a f*** what Ja Rule thinks? Does it matter about celebrity? No, this is the streets talking for themselves, they don't need me right now. I kept my mouth shut. And I'll still keep my mouth shut. But don't think 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?"
Don Lemon woke up this morning to an avalanche of text messages, emails, and phone calls over Dave Chappelle's new special. While one would expect the news anchor to be a little angry, he actually agrees with what the comedian had to say. "I actually agree with Dave Chappelle," Lemon said, while noting that Chappelle is his favorite comedian. "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."
Don Lemon continued and said, now is, "not a moment for modesty," stating that everybody should be doing everything they can from every platform. Lemon went on and said, "The irony is that his special is called 8:46, he's talking about this issue, and I think it's great." Chappelle using his platform and doing exactly what Lemon called on him and others to do, but he just did it in his own original way.
Don Lemon was not alone in getting roasted by Dave Chappelle. In comparison, Candace Owens and Laura Ingraham were beyond roasted by the comedian. He went in on Owens and Ingraham, with Owens quick to respond in support of the comedian's point of view, saying she was happy to make it into his act. While Lemon was calling for unity, Owens and Ingraham were doing the exact opposite, which is why they took most of the heat in the unannounced Netflix special. You can watch Don Lemon's response above, thanks to the CNN YouTube channel and check out 8:46 below.