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Comedy's in Good Hands: Hart Comes to Chappelle's Defense

Within this conversation attached to Dave, nobody’s hearing what his attempt is. They’re hearing a narrative that’s been created."

-Kevin Hart

Comedian Kevin Hart, standing at 5’2, boldly stands up in defense of Dave Chappelle’s newest Netflix special “The Closer” during an interview with the New York Times. Hart argued that Chappelle doesn’t have a hateful bone in his body and that his message in his new special has been taken out of context by the mainstream media.


According to Hart, and if you actually watched “The Closer” in its entirety, Chappelle “embraces the LGBT+ community.” Not only does he embrace the community, but he and his wife have raised their children in a way to understand love, fair treatment, and equality. Anyone who has followed Chappelle’s career understands that he means no harm when he fires off his jokes. He is a professional comedian who has been at his craft since he was a teenager. He knows how to stir up emotions and entertain his audience. His craft, however, is a growing target for silencers.


During his special, Chappelle touched on how Hart was treated before stepping down from hosting the 2019 Oscars after a decade-old tweet referencing the LGBTQ+ community resurfaced. The tweet, which Hart explained was an obvious joke, was enough for people to write him off as the enemy. He first refused to apologize, but later gave into the mob’s pressures. Hart, who had always wanted to host the Oscars, had his career sidetracked by the vocal minority for gaining more notoriety without becoming a voice box for the dictated script.


Hart attempted to go deeper into the discussion that has remained surface-level in the media since “The Closer’s” premier. Chappelle had a message that he was trying to get across to his audience. While he may not understand the transgender community, that doesn’t prevent him from treating everyone as they wish to be treated. He knows his words have been taken out of context and painted in a way where the comedian appears to be a bigot. Despite trying to clear the air and having an honest conversation about the situation, the media resorted to their traditional ways of creating an enemy out of a freethinker.

Had the mob never zeroed in on Chappelle as their target, many Americans may have never awaken to how dangerous cancel culture is to our society. Chappelle is not just any comedian; he’s the greatest comedian of our generation. This idea that you must agree with everything comedians have to say to enjoy their performances is absurd. Comedy has always been about crossing arbitrary lines set by society. Chappelle understands the assignment, while newer comedians play it safe and stay away from controversial subjects.


If the chilling effect on controversy is so heavy that we’re all afraid to speak, then the mob has successfully gained control of the narrative. Controversial subjects require serious conversations. How are we to arrive at a general consensus if we’re unable to work out our differences? They don’t want us to work out our differences; they want us to remain silent and conform without question. Those who refuse to conform will be painted as outsiders and will be rallied against by those friendly to the mainstream media. However, you can have more of an impact as an outspoken outsider than you might as a conformed insider.


To those who frequent my blog: I know you may be growing tired of hearing me talk about Dave Chappelle's face-off with cancel culture. However, I think this is one of the most important cases to date. Comedy is a very important genre of art and is worth protecting. It's growing increasingly difficult to watch the craft I love transform into another platform to promote the national narrative. While I believe cancel culture crossed the line years ago, canceling Chappelle is the final straw.

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