Dave Chappelle thinks Louis CK’s ‘brittle-ass’ victims needed to toughen up

2017 Kennedy Center Honors - Arrivals

Dave Chappelle has been on some kind of comeback for the past year and a half. He’s still brilliant, for sure, but his time away from the comedy circuit has sort of left its mark. By that I mean… it sure seems like Chappelle has some bad takes on some of the stories of the day. It’s like he’s incapable of reading the room, reading the national mood, or perhaps he’s incapable of just sitting down and listening to what people are actually saying and what the national conversation actually is. Like, his takeaway from Donald Trump’s Grab ‘Em By the P-ssy tape was that… it was all Hillary Clinton’s fault. I still don’t get that.

Anyway, back in November, Louis CK was outed as a serial sexual harasser and predator. Most of his victims were young female comedians or young women who worked with him in some capacity. He exposed himself to multiple women, he jerked off in front of them, and then he and his bro enablers worked to shut those women up and discredit their stories. He ended up admitting what he’d done in a bullsh-t statement, and it became increasingly clear to me that Louis CK was one of the few “outed” sexual predators who would have a legit shot at a comeback in a few years, because of all of the bros were so eager to dismiss and minimize what he’d done. Even Matt Damon – who doesn’t even know Louis CK – was eager to minimize what he’d done. So imagine how it will be with all of the comedian bros who have known Louis for years and years, like Dave Chappelle.

Dave Chappelle tackles Hollywood’s sexual harassment allegations in his new Netflix stand-up — taking aim at one of the five women who accused Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct.

“I shouldn’t say this, but f–k it, [C.K’s] allegations were the only one that made me laugh,” he said in his “Dave Chappelle: The Bird Revelation” special released on New Year’s Eve. “It’s terrible, I know it’s terrible. I’m sorry ladies … At the same time, you know what I mean, Jesus Christ, I don’t know, they took everything from Louis, it might be disproportionate, I can’t tell, I can’t tell, this is like where it’s hard to be a man.”

Chappelle, 44, went on to address C.K.’s incident with writer Abby Schachner, with whom he masturbated while on the phone. She told the New York Times that it was “one of the things that discouraged her from pursuing comedy.”

“One lady said, ‘Louis C.K. masturbated in front of me, ruined my comedy dreams,’” he said of Schachner. “Word? Well then I dare say, madam, you may have never had a dream. Come on man, that’s a brittle spirit. That is a brittle-ass spirit, that is too much, this grown-ass woman.”

He continued, joking that Martin Luther King probably wouldn’t have given up his “dream” if Louis C.K. masturbated in front of him.

“Show business is just harder than that,” Chappelle said, bringing up Schachner again. “Them women sound…they sound weak. I know that sounds f–ked up, I’m not supposed to say that, but one of these ladies was like, ‘Louis C.K. was masturbating while I was on the phone with him.’ B-tch, you don’t know how to hang up a phone? How the f–k are you going to survive in show business if this is an actual obstacle to your dreams?”

Earlier in his routine he takes jabs at Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey who were both accused of sexual assault last year. Chappelle’s stand-up special was recorded in November at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles.

[From Page Six]

Yep, this is what we’re up against. The Matt Damons and Dave Chappelles of the world want to create hierarchies of abuse and they want to tell victims of abuse and harassment that they – the victims – don’t have any right to tell their stories, to feel victimized, to feel like they’ve had something taken away from them professionally or personally. Men truly don’t understand how demoralizing it is to be harassed and abused. They think “well why didn’t she hang up the phone” or “why didn’t she say something” – and if those women had done those things, these men still would have found some way to impugn their stories. It’s just awful.

As for the argument that “comedians get to say what the rest of us can’t” – if this was Dave Chappelle working through a comedic bit in some backwater comedy club, I might be more forgiving. But this is his ACT. He filmed this for a Netflix special. Clearly, he already felt like he had worked through the bit and no changes needed to be made.

Comedian Dave Chappelle on the set of 'A Star Is Born' filming in downtown Los Angeles

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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133 Responses to “Dave Chappelle thinks Louis CK’s ‘brittle-ass’ victims needed to toughen up”

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  1. Astrid says:

    I watched about half this show yesterday and it was horrifying

    • Ashley says:

      Same… My BF is a huge fan and always puts his stuff on. I try to ignore it but I asked him to turn it off and watch it when I wasn’t around after the bit mentioned above.

  2. Jillian says:

    NOOOOOO. I love him

    That’s enough internet for today

    • Justjj says:

      Me too! This sucks. I like Dave Chappell and have always found him funny.

    • Seraphina says:

      Me too! Ugh Dave. DAVE! WTF were you thinking. Was it something you’re on? I always held him as comedy genius. But after this, after this he needs a toilet plunger over his mouth to stop the stupidity that spews out of it. Dave, ya dumb a$$, way to lose your female fans.

      • Maisie says:

        Nah – he lost me when he asked us all to “give Trump a chance” on SNL after the election – and yeah, he said it was because he’s rich & Trump would protect his interests, much as Trump hates black people. Truly f’d up.

        And now he says victims of sexual abuse should just suck it up because not doing so makes them “weak?” Gotta make you wonder what sort of sh*t he (and Damon) have done to women themselves. Newsflash, boys: sexual abuse is not on a sliding scale of badness. It’s ALL BAD.

  3. Runcmc says:

    Have you actually watched the special? I saw it yesterday and found it a deeply intelligent and complex reaction. He compared the current sexual assault climate and broken Hollywood system with apartheid in South Africa, the plight of slaves, and the story of pimps and prostitutes. I found it well-thought-out and not at all dismissive. Sure, the pull quotes look bad but it’s the full context of the conversation that really gives it weight.

    Anyone reading this- watch the special first before condemning it.

    • JeanGray says:

      I havent seen this special but what you said goes along the lines of his other shows. He is intelligent and he says provocative things intentionally. Thats part of his comedy. I will go hjome and watch it tonight. Thanks

      • & says:

        People really do need to watch the entire special. What I think is interesting, too, is that he actually addresses what’s going on here with “stepping back to see the entire elephant.” At first, I didn’t think I could get through it, but he truly is brilliant and thought provoking. Please give it a chance.

      • NicoleinSavannah,GA says:

        I thought the same. I kept wanting to turn it off, but I wanted to listen to the entirety before blowing off someone I like. I was uncomfortable, but kept listening and was not turned off Chappelle forever.

    • Annabelle Bronstein says:

      Thanks for that. I said below that I want to wait and see it. Chappelle has a way of making things that would normally be extremely offensive somehow thoughtful. *reserving judgment*

    • Alix says:

      So he’s comparing levels of suffering around the world? Women in the U.S. should put up with sexual harassment because there are people starving in Bangladesh, something like that? The world doesn’t work that way. And if it does, millionaire comedians can just their fucking pie-holes about anything that’s bugging THEM.

      • Tara Beth says:

        No. Your summation is wildly hyperbolic. “Don’t give up on your dreams because someone is oppressing you” is not “There are people starving in Bangladesh, something like that.” Your anger over this topic is clouding your judgement.

      • Umyeah says:

        @Tara Beth these women werent “oppressed” they were sexually harrassed in a work environment, two different things

      • Kitten says:

        @ TaraBeth You don’t see anything wrong with mansplaining to a woman who was sexually harassed by her mentor and comedic idol that she should just suck it up and be stronger?

      • I rarely comment but... says:

        He didn’t say it was oppression. He said it was harrassment. He also never said they shouldn’t speak about it. His point was someone harrassing you should not be the reason you give up on your dreams.

      • runcmc says:

        No, I may have misrepresented it a bit. When I say “comparing”, I mean he discussed these issues and how they were/have been/sort of solved, and the path to healing. He talked about the mostly bloodless South African revolution and giving…advice? I don’t even know how to describe it. Just…jeez, watch the thing if you insist on having a strong opinion about it.

      • Alix says:

        @Tara Beth: Your assumption that I’m angry is clouding your ability to convince me he shouldn’t keep his mouth shut.

      • Caroline says:

        Tara Beth, did you miss this part? “He compared the current sexual assault climate and broken Hollywood system with apartheid in South Africa, the plight of slaves, and the story of pimps and prostitutes.” That IS WHAT HE SAID!

    • ELX says:

      I watched all of the special and found it thought-provoking—particularly his discussion of truth and reconciliation in South Africa. He is right—basically everyone is complicit and in the system and unless we can all admit what we have done to prop up and support that system without being vilified—he’s right a handful of men will be punished but the system will endure and become stronger and the backlash will be terrible.

      Also—“hierarchy of abuse” —of course there is a hierarchy—-that’s the difference between misdemeanors and felonies and lengths of prison sentences. Yes, some a—hole rubbing one out in front of you is gross, but it is not rape.

      • jane says:

        And there it is: respect the hierarchy of abuse…as long as you’ve not been penetrated, it’s no biggie…don’t you dare consider what I consider to be lesser crimes important…or the backlash will be terrible – life will be worse – we’ll all be in trouble and we’ll lose everything.

        Maybe this has struck me so hard as there was a time I thought that…thought that job #1 was to make sure men didn’t get all lumped together and we had to decide what forms of domination and control were the worst and forgive the rest…or else…or else we’d not be able to ever speak up again, that nobody would believe us because we were so judgmental and unfair. Such weak and brittle bitches.
        And then I thought – FUCK YOU! – strap on the oxygen mask and look after the victims FIRST. We’ll triage the casualties once we’ve got the big picture…never doubt it. But saving the hurt feelings of men FIRST because they’ll punish us if we don’t, while ignoring the l8fetimes of pain and suffering and inequality continue….is just no way to run a fucking railroad.

      • MGM says:

        @jane: I don’t think that’s fair. ELX didn’t say any of what you just wrote. S/he just said our legal system works like it does because two things can be bad, but one of them can still be worse. Or should a person who slaps someone on the ass be punished the same as someone who violently rapes someone else?

      • Kcat says:

        WHat did you think when Matt Damin said the thing?

      • ELX says:

        Jane—I do not appreciate your mischaracterization of my post. Everyone has done wrong at some point, including you, including me; there are no perfect allies, ever. We have to be able to talk about all of it without vilifying each other or nothing will be resolved. What Louis C.K. did was gross and wrong, but it is not a Harvey Weinstein Level of wrong. I was attacked at a business dinner, I was assaulted yes, I was not raped, both bad, different crimes. Leaping immediately to total denunciation only results in rejection and isolation, not a solution.

      • MGM says:

        @ELX: That just sucks. And I know it’s not really an adequate way of saying it, but it’s just kind of what keeps going through my mind. I’m so sorry you experienced that. 🙁

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “What Louis C.K. did was gross and wrong, but it is not a Harvey Weinstein Level of wrong.”

        What Louis CK did was wrong, AND THEN he had his agent call the women who he victimized and THREATENED THEIR CAREERS if they sought justice. Harvey did that too, threatened the careers of women who turned him down.

        Yes, there is a “hierarchy”, and Louis’ actions are pretty f*cking high up on that scale of depravity. He didn’t just sexually harass women, he used his power to victimize them further.

      • shouldBoutside says:

        I had a man masturbate in front of me and can tell you it’s horrifying- that barely scrapes the surface of how revolted and damaged I felt. It’s IS a form of rape, anything sexual that is non-consensual is deeply corrosive. What is wrong with women who think other women need to “brush it off”???

      • Caroline says:

        Jane, if I could stand up and cheer and clap for you, I would. You nailed it in a way I struggled to define it.

    • LizLem says:

      +1. I’m ready for the downvotes, if you will, but here it goes: when you take out all context of the joke it of course reads awful. But if you listen to the 50min special in its entirety, the message he was giving was not offensive and was extremely deep and thought provoking. He also condemns Louis CK’s behavior several times throughout the special.

      • Jillybean says:

        Yes… this title was taken out of context… you need to watch the whole special…..

        People who are commenting on what they read in this article should watch the show and then decide…. did the author of this article even watch the show?

      • Kitten says:

        I watched it. I found parts of it to be funny and thoughtful but I found his schtick about CK and #metoo to be awful and incredibly unfunny.
        Am I good now?
        Can my opinion be validated since I watched the special and still thought the portion about CK was nasty AF?

        Context doesn’t make “its hard to be a man” and “they took everything from Louis” any less terrible and it doesn’t make his tacky jokes about a movement that affects so many of us suddenly funny. Even worse to me is that he specifically targeted one of CK’s victims. It’s victimization all over again. It’s punching down for a cheap laugh. It’s not ok, dude.

      • LizLem says:

        @Kitten Your opinion is valid, of course. Not here to bring you or others with opposing views down. I too am a victim (as I know many others here are) and I personally did not find it to be offensive but rather, as a whole, thought provoking and deeper than what has been presented as a review. But again, not trying to bring you down or others and I appreciate your thoughtful responses and discussions on here.

      • Severin88 says:

        Agreed watched both specials this weekend and it was extremely thought provoking. This post is the equivalent of “Standing way to close to the elephant.”

    • Beatrix says:

      I agree -he doesn’t come off as dismissive if you listen to the entire context he lays out in his Netflix special. There’s no story here except to say that he’s actually more thoughtful about the subject than I would have otherwise assumed he would be.

    • Boodiba says:

      I tried to watch it but got bored 10 minutes in.

    • DeeDee34 says:

      Thank you! I watched it, as well, and think this writer REALLY missed Chappelle’s point. He was incredibly thoughtful about the complexities of this moment and how women AND men must seize the opportunity to affect actual change.

      If no one is allowed to dissect sexual harrassment (especially within the context of race, class, and/or gender), if no one is allowed to dissect WHY some women felt forced into the webs of the the Harvey Weinsteins of the world, then what is all this for? What are your goals, where do you want gender equality to be after all the dust settles? Without real dialogue – even dialogue we disagree with – we will end up right back where we started.

    • Nikki says:

      Completely agree! I enjoyed the special and didn’t take exception to anything he said

    • WinchesterGirl says:

      I watched it n walked away like, “what did I miss?” I didn’t see what others saw. I wasn’t outraged, upset or anything.
      You can never really tell when people are outraged just for the hell of it or genuinely outraged because of bad content

    • NicoleinSavannah,GA says:

      So glad someone said this. WATCH THE WHOLE THING.

    • Caroline says:

      I am not sure that looking for some comparison to make sexual assault ok is intelligent or mature. Of course child abuse is bad or rape is bad or sexual assault is bad, but, hey; think about the starving kids in Africa! Come on, that is a very child-like attempt to minimize something serious. There is ALWAYS something bad happening in developing countries, it does not negate the VERY REAL affects that abuse/molestation/rape/assault/etc etc has on people. The cry of ‘first world problem’ is being dismissive by the very definition and trying to minimize the seriousness. It is a childish base argument that someone in junior high knows better than to do. Surely you didn’t fall for that? I genuinely question the maturity level of anyone who thinks that is a normal, rational, sane or mature argument for a supposed adult to make.

      It is not a competition! It may not be as traumatic to some as the starving kids in Africa, or slavery or apartheid or the holocaust, but it is VERY REAL and traumatic to the one faced with it. So it is a real trauma to THAT PERSON. And to minimize that pain with some babyish elementary school level ‘logic’ is disgusting and is a slur against anyone raped, abused, harassed etc.

      • bella says:

        After what you said, so eloquently and concisely I don’t need to add anything at all! It is perfect.

      • NicoleinSavannah,GA says:

        My best friend thinks she is in a one-upping abuse competition. I try to repeat what you just said. Not as eloquently!

    • Scotchy says:

      I agree,
      I am WOC that has been sexually assaulted multiple times I preface with that just to make it clear as a victim of such crimes, I was well aware that what happened could be trigger inducing but while it was uncomfortable at times, there was so much truth in it.
      I simply wasn’t offended as much as clearly others are and wondered if that is because I am a WOC and a he touched on the point that woman of colour have suffered these assaults in silence and it’s become a much bigger issue now that white women have brought it to the table.
      Also that there is a disparity in the process of how we support victims based on race and that without a real dialogue and a continuous dialogue, and, a very clear plan to not only root out the bad seeds but to find a way to address the toxicity that the male half of our species even the most “woke” ones have been conditioned to adhere to, nothing will truly change.

      I mean I didn’t find it all hilarious, and watching it knew that this was going to make many women mad.

      I do wonder how my other fellow WOC posters on the site thought about the special if they have seen it.

      • NicoleinSavannah,GA says:

        I felt this way also. I was uncomfortable, I have survive multiple assaults as well. I just did not walk away feeling hurt or angry.

  4. Hh says:

    Well I really had no interest in his prior comeback special and I certainly have no interest in the new one. If Hollywood has truly learned anything, then I expect the MEN to come out against his words. Don’t let women do all the work.

  5. Annabelle Bronstein says:

    This was extremely disappointing to read yesterday. We saw him when he was filming his Netflix special and it didn’t have anything about #metoo, and he was hilarious and irreverent in a very conservative crowd. He was amazing and fearless.

    I want to wait to hear the jokes in context. But this still just feels mean and unnecessary.. truly punching down. He’s so smart he doesn’t need to punch down. I’m reserving judgment until I watch the special.

  6. Lucy says:

    What the f*ck? What. The f*ck.

  7. TheOtherOne says:


  8. Renee2 says:

    Dave Chappelle has always been problematic, but since he was labelled as woke people overlooked it. He has huge problems with gender and queer identities, I.e., he is queerphobic and sexist, and can’t quite seem to grasp intersectionality or any perspectives outside of his own. He seems to be really bitter and harsh since his comeback and I’m not quite sure what that’s about. I did ruefully smile at the phone bit. If only it were that easy. Maybe he shouldn’t be asking if she doesn’t know how a phone works and should instead be asking why Louis felt the need to take his c*ck out every time he interacted with a woman.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      All of this.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah this completely. He’s a brilliant comedian no doubt but he’s always been very problematic. This is the issue with the “you’re cancelled” approach though-everyone is here for it until they come for your favorite.
      Eh….maybe this will finally help some people to understand that one can be both a talented/influential artist and a problematic person-the two have never been mutually exclusive.

    • lucy2 says:

      You nailed it, especially your last sentence.

      Also this attitude: “they took everything from Louis” NO THEY DID NOT. Louis made terrible choices and behaved in such a manner that people do not want to be associated with him anymore. Nothing was “taken” from him. He is not the victim here.

      • HK9 says:

        It’s amazing how some grown men never really want to take responsibility for their own behaviour and they still think it’s ok to blame women for everything.

    • Chaine says:

      He completely does not grasp that the women in this situation felt that their jobs or careers were on the line. They felt that they couldn’t simply hang up the phone or leave the room. And even if they had, people still would not have believed them about what happened.

    • PlaidSheets says:

      I agree with problematic. I happened to catch a few episodes of the his show yesterday. Two sketches involved plying women with alcohol in order to have sex with them. In one skit, he poured out his on liquor while giving the woman more to get her drunk enough to go home. I remembered seeing the sketch years ago and not liking it, but seeing it yesterday was beyond unpleasant.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Exactly! I think Dave is funny and talented, I think he’s intelligent, I also think he’s misogynistic af. All can be true.

    • GreenTurtle says:

      The part on Kevin Spacey and gay 14-year old boys was a record scratch for me as well. He can understand how these gay teenage boys might get themselves into these situations (of being preyed upon), but oh….they’re so fearless! Right. It gives me no pleasure to call out people who I find very talented and whose work I enjoy, but COME ON. Imperfect ally indeed…

  9. anna222 says:

    Daaaaave, why do you have to be such a d-ck? I thought you were better than this.

    • Ladydee says:

      I had the misfortune of seeing a secret show of his in ‘09 in San Francisco. He was developing an act and sat on stage chain smoking without a honed set. He joked about a drinking problem that he’d resolved… he joked that in his drinking days he’d randomly whip out his penis- hahaha so he quit drinking. Then he proceeded to cat call and sexually harass a lovely
      cocktail server in front of the entire audience when requesting a water on stage. This poor employee was visibly upset, (rightly so), and I was livid. I left my boyfriend at the table and said i’d wait outside while he paid the tab. I was shaken, yet could not get anywhere w management to do anything at the time. I now despise his persona or whatever it is he presents. Ugh.

  10. Talie says:

    Overrated. He’s not the genius people make him out to be…

    • Kitten says:

      Really? I think he’s one of the most prolific comedians of our time. I also think he’s a huge, huge dickhead.

    • Carrie1 says:


      It’s interesting to read the perspectives of people. The problem is so widespread. I don’t have any interest in this guy and was about to move on from the post, and then I saw his ‘brittle’ and ‘weak’ word usage. I’ve known women who use those terms to judge others and that perspective is so callous and uninformed, distorted thinking.

      He needs counselling. I hope he and others like him look into that. These people do serious harm if left unchecked.

    • Rantingoldlady says:

      He is a comedic genius whether you like him or not. A comedian’s job is not to make friends or pander to people’s tender feelings. They put up mirrors to society and it is often uncomfortable and upsetting. Chappelle gives wide arching context. 4 brilliant specials. The last was my least favorite but made great points.

  11. smcollins says:

    Oh, Dave….not you, too. You had proven yourself to be brilliantly, comedicly insightful. What happened?

  12. Otaku Fairy says:

    ” I can’t tell, this is like where it’s hard to be a man.”
    Male entitlement and narcissism are on full display right now. Honestly though, I can’t really claim to be shocked by his take. He has a pattern of making enabling and dismissive comments about misogyny, sexual assault, and homophobia.

    • Wren says:

      Actually I think it is hard to be a man, but no man who says so is ever looking in the right place. They’re usually focused on how someone or something is standing in the way of the thing they want.

      The patriarchy harms men too, and the saddest thing is that it’s largely ignored by men in favor of the short term gratification of being at the top of food chain. Because it is short. What men are denied is worth mourning. For example, men, often well before they reach adulthood, are denied loving, nurturing, platonic touch. Touch is an incredibly important thing to primates, and essentially our society has taken that away from men. They are only allowed aggressive or sexual touch and nothing else. Otherwise we label them terrible things, and even the fact that those things are terrible reinforces the idea that men should not be a certain way. We deny men the full range of their emotions, limiting them to essentially joy and anger. How many little boys are told to “man up” or “boys don’t cry”? We intentionally stunt men emotionally and then act surprised when they can’t express themselves appropriately later in life.

      Anyway, I could go on, but I hate how men often whine about how “hard it is to be a man” while having ZERO idea what that really entails. Most of the time, they’re just whining about how they can’t have the thing.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        You have a point, but like you said, he’s not talking about emotional repression. He’s talking about a rich famous white man having to face a few minor consequences for his own bad choices.

      • Wren says:

        Exactly. Which I find interesting. That as a black man, he feels compelled to defend a white man in said white man’s choices to whip his dick out when talking to women lower on the ladder than he is. Like, really? *That’s* what making being a man difficult? That you can’t take your dick out whenever you want?

      • magnoliarose says:

        I am learning a lot lately about Patriarchy and how it harms men. It is enlightening, and it has changed the way I parent my sons. I was never a man up or whatever but I am more aware of the subtle messaging.

  13. Shambles says:

    His first special was full of transphobic sh!t and rape jokes. F*ck him. Sure, comedians can say whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean I have to watch. Chappelle is trash.

    • Rumpscuttle says:

      Damn straight.

    • runcmc says:

      And he actually addresses that DIRECTLY in this special.

      • Shambles says:

        Okay, I still have no interest in watching it. I watched the first one and it was hard to get through. I won’t watch the second one. He has upset me in enough instances that I’m no longer willing to give him my time so he can explain himself. I’m no longer willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. That’s my right, as it is his to say misogynistic, unfunny and offensive sh!t.

  14. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Dave Chapelle was canceled when he hosted SNL and said we should give Trump “a chance”. Chapelle is a good comedian but he’s also not very bright. And so I do with him what I do with most stupid people – I ignore them and go on with my day. Morons are not worth my time.

    • runcmc says:

      He addresses that directly too! …watch the special

    • LookyLoo says:

      You can say whatever you want about Dave Chapelle, except that he’s not bright. He’s actually very intelligent. And he addresses issues head on. He talk about his privilege as a rich person and yes, he says some crappy things, but dumb, he isn’t.

  15. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    ” …this is like where it’s hard to be a man…”

    Oh, no he didn’t.

  16. Umyeah says:

    If he thinks that Louis’ victim’s were “brittle ass” my guess is he also has some skeletons yet to come out.

  17. HK9 says:

    He’s an asshole. Like most men, he has no concept of what strong is. Cancelled.

  18. Wren says:

    I think part of this attitude comes from the fact that, to a lot of men, this isn’t what sexual assault looks like. What Louis CK did was not violent and did not (I believe) involve actually touching his victims. I’ve said this before, but men are taught that only physical actions and physical consequences matter. The fact that none of these women were physically harmed lands the whole thing squarely into “no harm no foul” territory for them. Most men, outside of conservative religious circles, don’t consider masturbation a big deal. They joke about it to the point that there are countless euphemisms for it, and it is generally considered a normal male pursuit.

    A lot of this only holds up if they’ve never experienced this type of violation, which of course, many have not and never will.

    • Shambles says:

      Yep, all of this. That’s the issue. They think that if you don’t forcefully penetrate someone it doesn’t count. It’s all well and good to have “spectrums” of sexual assault when you’re defending the men, but when it comes to the victims? Of course not. You were either violently raped or nothing happened to you. And they fail to understand why casual use of the word rape (like, while playing video games) is harmful. Just had to throw that in there because it irritates me personally.

    • SandyC says:

      It’s almost worse than being physically touched because if you are being confined to a room watching a man masturbate there is no way to stop them! You can’t even fight them off! In addition, the women comedians subjected to this disgusting behavior were pressured not to talk publicly about it by Louis C.K.’s people — or risk their careers. So this is just blatant ignorance on Chappelle’s part, or a lame joke! Either way, he should correct it.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      I bet he’d have a very different outlook on Louis C.K. if he’d been doing that to men. Like, if Dave called him one day and found he’d been masturbating on the other end it would be the biggest deal for Dave. Especially considering how homophobic he is. Smh

  19. Natalie S says:

    I’ve thought that Chappelle has issues empathizing with women dating back to his “whore’s uniform” joke and I think he does know that about himself. But he hasn’t reached a place where he has made any insightful response to it. The closest he managed in his special was the backpack of money. But I think he still looks at a woman’s actions as being mostly about men.

    His jokes on Weinstein were bad as in lacking in insight. He left out the majority of what actually happened to make dismissive, hack jokes about it. IMO, because he doesn’t respect the experiences of women enough to really analyze what actually happened.

  20. Giddy says:

    He wondered why one of Louie’s victims didn’t hang up the phone. Well, don’t wonder about me. I certainly know how to change the tv when a comedian is rude, disgusting, misogynistic, and clueless.

  21. Danielle says:

    Check out the full episode before you condemn him. Context is important. I don’t think he punched down at women. And he isn’t transphobic at all. He addresses that in the first episode. He is thoughtful and open, and acknowledges his shortcomings.

  22. DesertReal says:

    My husband & I watched both specials this holiday weekend & I loved them.
    I did.
    It made me laugh so hard I had to take an excedrin afterwards. Now, is his comedy darker since his minstrel skit days?
    Did we laugh at every single bit? No. But it was complex, reflective, & remorseful for some of his past comments (giving Trump a chance, etc) & it succeeded in making me laugh about an otherwise bad year.

    • Kim says:

      Yes to all of this. My husband & I had the same reaction. I like this new, darker, more complex Dave (even if I don’t agree with his opinions on all things).

  23. Anastasia says:

    Hey, I have an idea. How about men don’t act in a sexual manner when we don’t want them to? How about that? Basic decency. Respect of the concept of consent.

    HOW ABOUT THAT? It’s real super f*cking simple, Dave, and all the other bro-splainers out there.

    I don’t care what else he said. THIS is wrong–to turn the accusation to the woman–WHO NEVER ASKED FOR ANY OF THIS–and to say you should be tougher than that.

    Bullshit. He shouldn’t have done those messed up things to begin with. It’s ALL on him.

    • Kitten says:

      This is one of those times that male comedians should probably just stay in their damn lane. Not every subject needs to be swallowed up and regurgitated through the male lens for the sake of shits and giggles. There are so many topics for him to touch on (and he touched on many during his special) but maybe he could have some damn tact about this particular issue and just leave it the hell alone. It just feels exploitative, unfunny and really misses the mark when men try to crack wise about women who were sexually harassed. Mainly, it’s a privileged and entitled view to assume that we want to hear men’s opinion about an issue that largely affects women and is perpetrated by men. Not funny, low-hanging fruit and not too different from rape jokes, TBH.

      • susiecue says:

        Cosign all! And jokes like that have a horrible effect, they make men feel validated if they want to brush these issues off as not that big of a deal. Some are desperate for a soundbite like this that they can grab onto and parrot to diminish the issues and the victims’ feelings. It’s a super irresponsible use of a platform and a voice.

  24. Shannon says:

    Yeah, the pull quotes sound bad and are pretty man-splainy. But I think I get his point and I’m not cancelling him yet. He doesn’t sound like he’s saying the victims shouldn’t speak up or what Louis did wasn’t so bad. He’s saying ultimately the choice whether or not to continue in comedy is up to her, Louis can’t make it for her. She’s kind of giving him a power that he doesn’t deserve over her life, but I can see where she feels that way. Chappelle probably doesn’t. But in my mind, while mansplaining is abundantly insulting and annoying, men are still learning about that and not totally understanding it. And just because something’s mansplained doesn’t always make the message inherently wrong. I read it as a mansplainy way of saying, “Don’t let this jackass take this away from you.”

    • Samantha says:

      “He doesn’t sound like he’s saying the victims shouldn’t speak up or what Louis did wasn’t so bad.”
      He IS! He just knows not to say it directly and just say “I know I shouldn’t” in between. He’s totally victim-blaming by calling the women weak and saying they could have done things to stop the harassment (hang-up) or be affected less (“man”-up). He’s also talking about things being “taken” from Louis and also how it’s “tough” to be a man, apparently due to how “brittle” women are!
      His comments are horrible and no context would change that.

  25. Wendy says:

    My husband and I watched Chappelle’s Netflix show over the weekend. I agree with what Chappelle said about one of Louis CK’s the accusers. If you don’t feel comfortable hanging up on someone you feel is being inappropriate with you, you’re not going to make it in any business. Just how passionate is a person about her “dream” if one inappropriate phone call makes her change course?

    • Kitten says:

      What she did by not hanging up the phone is no different than what many of us have done when sexually harassed in a work environment. That is to say that we froze, we were silent, and we stayed.
      Because we were shocked.
      We were fearful.
      We wanted to keep our fucking job.

      CK was a mentor to her and she crushed him. But yeah you’re right that she should have just been stronger. OR you know, maybe she should have been respected and treated as a professional equal like she reasonably expected…

      JFC these comments are depressing AF.

      • Purplehazeforever says:

        The comments are depressing but I understand where they are coming from. Just because I understand doesn’t mean I condone them. Show business is a rough place, especially comedy. I’m going to watch the special before commenting further but from a legal standpoint, as a lawyer, there is a hierarchy of offenses. What Louis CK did was harassment, he didn’t rape anyone. Does it make it better? I’m not sure. I’ve been sexually harassed and raped, kitten. I’m going to tell you right now you cannot compare the two. It’s not even close…not even remotely. I will take harassment every day, all day over rape. That is a scarring that never goes away. NEVER. I have triggers, still. And this happened 27 years ago. I’ve had therapy, it’s a deep wound that never really heals. It stays with you for life. So, it’s not legally or emotionally the same. I’ve forgiven the men that sexually harassed me. I won’t cancel them, I can still talk to them. The man that raped me? He can rot for all I care.

      • Kitten says:

        Hi PurpleHaze
        I never said or insinuated that rape and harassment were the same though. My comment had nothing to do with equalizing a man who masturbates in front of a woman and a rapist…but I don’t think Chapelle was making that point either?

        I was pointing out that this woman was already victimized at least once, by an extraordinarily powerful man. She finally had the courage to come forward and tell her story after hiding in shame and embarrassment and likely wallowing in self blame. Now she gets to be part of a famous comedians act and get victimized all over again by another powerful man. It’s just so basic and cheap and as much as I think Chappelle is comedically brilliant, intellectual, and immensely talented, this is not the first time he’s been problematic in the misogyny department.

        And thats the problem that I have with a comedian as prolific and influential as Chappelle incorporating an act based on mocking a victim for not being strong enough. It redirects the conversation and puts the focus on policing and judging how she handled her victimization instead of keeping the conversation on the perpetrators behavior, where it rightfully belongs.

        sorry for the grammatical errors I’m typing from my iPad and it’s not letting me switch the keypad to punctuation…

      • Rebecca says:

        Exactly. Chappell doesn’t take into consideration the fear of retaliation and the past experiences of these women. How were any of these women to know that if they said something Louis C.K. wouldn’t retaliate by getting them black listed in comedy and ruining their careers for good? Some of the women say that IS what he tried to do when they came forward.

      • Mina says:

        I’m sorry that happened to you, PurpleHaze, but you shouldn’t have to choose harassment over rape. Sure, rape is worse but it doesn’t mean that the other thing gets a pass because he didn’t go as far. That mentality is what’s allowed all these creeps to stay where they are. No behavior like that, at no level, should be allowed. And a woman shouldn’t have to be put in the position of risking her career to show “strength” against a sexual deviant.

    • HK9 says:

      Interesting. Didn’t Chappelle have a mental breakdown which caused him to walk away from his show a few years ago? Nothing about that was remotely ‘strong’ or ‘professional. Apparently, he’s not strong enough but several people had to come together and give him another chance. I’m not here for the ‘this type of harassment isn’t a big deal but other types of harassment aren’t’ because it requires a judgement on how others should feel, further dehumanizing women. It’s not up to me to tell someone else how to feel. Women are human and should be treated with respect at all times. Harassment is not the rent we pay for being female and going to work.

      • Runcmc says:

        No, he didn’t. He walked away from his show and quit show business due to the horro he felt and the grossness of showbiz/Hollywood. There’s a LOT more wrong in that whole system than sexual assault unfortunately and in the special he advocates for outing all wrongdoing and cleaning the whole industry up. I thought t was so brilliantly summed up.

    • TheOtherSam says:

      Louis CK’s victims weren’t make to ‘change course’ professionally because they did or didn’t hang up on him or tolerate his ‘inappropriate’ behavior (that is, if you think physically masturbating in front of two co-workers is simply ‘inappropriate’). They were forced to change the course of their careers due to LCK’s power in their field and fear of reprisal for upsetting him or telling on him, both from him and his powerful comedy manager Dave Becky.

      They lost gigs, advancement, money and career standing. Even if they lost a tiny bit, over his criminal behavior, that’s too much. He can ‘come back’ when he’s had a decade of therapy and paid his victims every dime of the income they lost because of his crap.

      Chappelle can kick in for this, from his overpaid Netflix deal, if he feels ‘everything’ was taken from his pal and it was unfair.

  26. Samantha says:

    What he said was horrible, I don’t know why people are going out of their way to explain him. Regardless of the rest of his comments, he completely dismissed LCK’s predatory behavior and the victims’ experiences. He and Matt Damon will find each other appealing.

    • Jayna says:

      Why would they only find each other appealing? You guys are naive. A big majority of celeb males don’t believe his career should be over. And they are all nodding their head at what these two said.

      And comedians stick together. It’s their own unique world and have been on the comedy circuit together over the years. And the bro culture is strong.

      • Samantha says:

        I totally agree. I just mentioned Damon as another man who went public with his terrible opinions. No doubt many (most?) men agree with them.

  27. Green_eyes says:

    I know he is foremost a comedian and he uses street language a lot.. but I hate that when referring to Louis’s victim instead of using her given name or just calling her a woman she is referred to as Bitch. Men calling any victim such a name no matter the context should just be a NO!

  28. Ginger says:

    “Jesus Christ, they took everything from Louis. It might be disproportionate, I can’t tell” – I think that statement did him no favors.

  29. Stacy Dresden says:

    Shut the hell up, Dave Chappelle! I love you.

  30. Mina says:

    The point is why should a woman (or anyone) have to be put in a position in which they have to hang up on a business call that can potentially do good things for their career because the creep on the other side decides to turn it into a sexual thing? I don’t see why it’s so hard to understand that.

  31. trh says:

    Speaking of disproportionality, his blaming the victim by invoking MLK’s speech from Aug 28, 1963 is appalling.

  32. Wisca says:

    The subtext of Chappelle’s special is f*&k white women. He never says that, but much of his special compares black trauma to white American women’s pain. And black trauma to Chappelle is black male trauma, which is why he speaks so powerfully about Emmet Till. I may be overstating this a bit, because he goes through a brilliant synopsis of black / US history beginning with the Middle Passage, which would include the experience of black women.

    Another issue with his special was the Iceberg Slim story he retells as a metaphor for his suffering at Comedy Central. (Ambiguous non-hegemony in action here.) Because he is a masterful storyteller, his lingering on the dehumanization of “bitches” and “hoes” at the hands of a brilliant, capitalism exposing and exploiting black-male pimp manages to reify pimping and exult in the dehumanization of prostitutes, even if this is not his intent. His frame is classic Hotep black masculinity. It is limited even if it is sometimes illuminating.

    Ultimately, I’m glad I watched because it was truly thought-provoking. The causal misogyny mixed with some insights kept me off balance. He highlights a major tension I see in this thread: Can a man be an ally if he has harassed in the past? How long will men center their experiences?

    • Marty says:

      You hit a lot of the same points I was going to talk about. When he gets it right, he gets it REALLY right and you feel it like a punch to the gut. But when he gets it wrong….whew boy. And that is the hardest part to reconcile with, that this black comedian who I have grown up and admired hasn’t really bothered to evolve personally or professionally. I shouldn’t be hearing the same problematic shit I heard ten years ago. Most importantly, when I see this kind of lack of growth it makes me feel like he and others can never be a true ally.

      • ParlerBleu says:

        Yeah, same here. The part where he states we need to accept imperfect allies really bothered me.

        Ally isn’t a title you can claim for yourself. Calling yourself an ally doesn’t make you one. Recognizing the fuckshit, trying to do better, and calling other people out is how you become an ally.

    • Scotchy says:

      I agree with you and that was what I felt and to quote Marty when he got it right, it was brilliant and when he didn’t yikes.

  33. Kim says:

    People should watch the entire special before getting outraged about the quote that’s being passed around. Also, it would behoove anyone who was a fan of Dave Chappelle circa 2005 to realize that he’s changed. He’s still drop dead funny but a good portion of his material now is more like an amusing, thoughtful discussion amongst friends than just a comedian doing perfectly packaged stand up bits. I didn’t agree with everything he said in his special – far from it. Ben Affleck wants to be a helpful ally? Oh my. Hold my glass.

    Ultimately, though, it’s worth watching. Hear the dude out before you light your torches.

    • Carol_Lee says:

      “Ultimately, though, it’s worth watching. Hear the dude out before you light your torches.”

      THIS. 1000% this!

  34. ParlerBleu says:

    I watched both specials in their entirety and it was challenging to do so.

    I think the biggest issue for me is that, although he states he is sympathetic towards issues affecting women, trans, and queer folk, as a commenter posted above, Chappelle does not understand intersectionality.

    Like many if not most cis, het, Black men I’ve known, Chapelle is so completely unable to really see or empathize with oppression outside of the context of what Black, cisgendered, heterosexual men experience. His analogies ring shallow, false, and incomplete because he’s just not deep enough, smart enough, or empathetic enough to understand that people exist at intersections, and it is existing at intersections that makes all types of oppression so much worse. You can’t effectively compare one type of oppression with another if you are going to essentially erase the experiences of MOST of the oppressed people in both of those groups.

    Black people are not just rich, cis, het, Black men like Dave Chappelle.
    Women are not just white women.
    Trans people are not just Caitlyn Jenner.
    Queer folk are not just the mature, white gay men he knew in high school.

    He also doesn’t seem to understand that ALL men, yes, even Black men, have privilege.

    I think in the early/mid-2000s, Dave Chappelle was in some ways ahead of his time. And we ate it up. He disappeared for 12 years and thankfully the world has since moved on. It’s sad that he can’t seem to do the same.

  35. U.S and them says:

    C.K isn’t just a white man He’s a RICH white man. It’s an important distinction.

  36. Lisa says:

    Then I think he needs to fuck off.

  37. Caroline says:

    One wonders how he would react if someone did these things to his mother or sister or grandmother or girlfriend or daughter. Unless he completely lacks any congeniality or empathy towards his female relatives, I am sure he’d want to hunt down the guy and beat his ass.

  38. U.S and them says:

    Maybe if someone had told DC that his brittle ass needed to toughen up he wouldn’t have had that breakdown.

  39. Kayahead says:

    Ughhh….when did we all become so woke that any verbal misstep is a rallying cry? Like seriously, I swear to God, I know a very wide cross section of people and I don’t know anyone as PC and on point with their wokeness as some of the people in these comments. And, as for the heirarchy of abuse, yes I bloody well believe that not all abuse is the same and elicits the same trauma. But that’s MY truth. And unless you’ve run the gamut of assault, please don’t presume that we are all problematic allies. Because, I will say that the senior lawyer who cornered me while he masturbated bothered me a lot less than my relative who fondled me when I was a child, which in turn was less than the stranger who tried to grope on an airplane and were all far far less than the stranger who followed me from work while explicitly detailing his violent fantasies about me. And yet, I am still very very thankful that I have never been violently assaulted or raped.

    All this to say that I saw the entire show, and I got his truth at the heart of it and what he was trying to say, as many other commenters have already pointed out.

  40. Kris29 says:

    I’ve been sick with the flu and found myself, fiery femminist, TRULY enjoying his new specials. They are NOT tone deaf. He is thoughtful and more importantly thought provoking. This new older Chappelle is so needed right now. JUST listen to the over arching themes. He’s doing good. Please give them a chance. I hope everyone watches them. I felt a commiseration of sorts and the hope that comes with openly discussing what’s worth fighting for. He’s a man, a realist, an “imperfect ally” as he puts it. Watching was cathartic. Definetely don’t write him off.