Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special Sticks & Stones had a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes before reaching 17 percent on Tuesday. The special has garnered immense backlash, where Chapelle not only pokes fun at cancel culture, he eggs it on. The comedian makes jokes about Michael Jackson and R. Kelly’s sex scandals, Kevin Hart being canceled and “French actor” Jussie Smollett, to name a few of his bits.
There are five reviews from critics.
“[It’s] like dropping in on a rascally uncle who doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, how much he’s disappointing you,” Inkoo Kang, a critic for Slate, said in a quote on the page.
“Sticks & Stones isn’t necessarily a failure, it just feels like Chappelle presenting half-formed material with few jokes that truly hit hard and stand out,” reads Entertainment Voice’s critic, Alci Renfigo’s comment.
While it has a low rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the special has been rated 8.5 out of ten on IMDb.
Chappelle accuses audiences of coming after celebrities, saying now is not a good time to be famous.
“If you do anything wrong in your life, and I find out about it, I’m gonna try and take everything away from you… if I find out, you’re f**king finished,” he says before revealing to the audience he was, in fact, mocking them.
He also describes the LGBTQ community as the “alphabet people” and went on to question why chef Anthony Bourdain died by suicide.
“That man, with that job, hung himself from a luxury suite in France,” he said.
Chappelle talked about Leaving Neverland and said he never believed the alleged victims. He also defended Hart, who dropped out of hosting the 2019 Oscars over past homophobic comments that resurfaced in December 2018.
One such comment was in 2011, when Hart tweeted that if his son played with a doll house, he’d “break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.'” Hart had also said he would want his son to be heterosexual in his stand-up special “Seriously Funny” in 2010.
The topics that Chappelle spoke on were meant to provoke audiences, and it successfully managed to divide viewers.
Many criticized Rotten Tomatoes and it’s critics for the low rating of Chappelle’s special.