Not everyone is laughing at Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special, which took on the #MeToo movement and the allegations of sexual abuse against Kevin Spacey.
“Kevin Spacey’s out here grabbing men by the pussy. I didn’t even know that was possible!” Chappelle said in The Bird Revelation, a Netflix show released New Year's Eve.
The comedian devoted a portion of his standup to Anthony Rapp, the Star Trek: Discovery actor who was the first of dozens to accuse Spacey of sexual misconduct. In an October BuzzFeed interview, Rapp claimed Spacey attempted to “seduce” him at a New York City party when he was 14 and the House of Cards actor was 26.
“I’ve been to a lot of parties in my day. Never been to a good one that had 14-year-old boys in it,” Chappelle said.
Chappelle noted that, despite the alleged assault by another man, Rapp “grew up to be gay anyway,” and that “Kevin Spacey sniffed that shit out like a truffle pig.”
“Not to victim-blame, but it seems like the kind of situation that a gay 14-year-old kid would get himself into,” said Chappelle, who then remarked about the early maturity of queer young people.
“All joking aside, Kevin Spacey shouldn’t have done that shit to that kid,” Chappelle said. “He was 14 years old and forced to carry a grown man’s secret for 30 years.”
But he couldn’t resist one last gag:
“The saddest part is, if he had been able to carry that secret for another six months, I would get to know how House of Cards ends.”
Chappelle’s jokes echo the online harassment Rapp received after coming forward about Spacey. Trolls, many of them angry about the cancellation of House of Cards, shamed Rapp, attempted to discredit his account, and questioned why a teenager was at an older man’s party. Rapp called out these harassers on Twitter in November.
Many on social media expressed outrage at Chappelle’s remarks.
— Sarah Smith (@sarahsmithva) December 31, 2017
He was a child. He was taken advantage of by an adult. He was ABUSED! Educate yourself, then go find your morals. #disgustedbyignorance ‘He grew up gay anyway': Dave Chappelle on Anthony Rapp allegations
— Ellen Smith (@BoyCrazyMama) January 1, 2018
This is not the first time Chappelle's humor has angered members of the LGBT community. In August he called transgender troops a “secret weapon,” because “if I was in ISIS in the trenches fighting against the United States and all of the sudden I see a man with a beard and big D-cups titties just rushing my foxhole and shit, I’d be horrified.”
He also joked about news of a potential Sports Illustrated photo shoot of a nude Caitlyn Jenner. “Fuck, man, I just want to read some stats, like why are you cramming man-pussy in the middle of the sports page like that?’” he said.
Chappelle addressed the uproar his anti-trans comments have caused in the new Netflix special.
“You know who hates me the most? The transgender community. I didn’t realize how bad it was. These motherfuckers are really mad about that last Netflix special,” he said, reports Pink News.
“It’s tough, man. I don’t know what to do about it, ’cause I like them. I always have. Never had a problem with them. You know, just fucking around. And a matter of fact, I think I make fun of everybody, and I mean as a group of people they have to admit … it’s kind of fucking hilarious, man.”
Striving for a conciliatory tone, Chappelle said he does not “understand all the choices people make” but “I do understand that life is hard, and that those types of choices do not disqualify you from a life with dignity and happiness and safety.”