Don Lemon felt the need to respond to Dave Chappelle after being mentioned in his recent Netflix comedy special 8:46. Chappelle took issue with the fact that Lemon called out celebrities for not using their platforms to speak out about the death of George Floyd. He didn’t mention Chappelle by name but he still felt the need to address him.
“I’m watching Don Lemon, that hotbed of reality,” Chappelle said. “He says, where are all these celebrities? Why aren’t you all talking?
Then Chappelle said, “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 will still keep my mouth shut.”
Lemon responded to Chappelle on CNN’s New Day, at first saying that he agrees in some respects with the comedian’s point.
“I think that the young people who are out there in the streets don’t really care what we have to say,” Lemon said. “They think that part of the world that we created and what we did, maybe we didn’t move fast enough and maybe we weren’t strong enough. So they are out there fighting and said, ‘Listen, we are tired of what is happening. We tried to do it nicely and we tried to do it peacefully and we have tried to do all these things and you rejected it.’ They are not only speaking to white people in this country but all of us in the establishment. So I agree with him in that way.”
Lemon added, “But I do think that this is not a moment for modesty. I think that this is a moment that we should all be using our platform to do whatever we can, and at least to show young people and those out there that we support them, and it doesn’t mean taking all of the credit for it or speaking out for them. I think they can do that on their own. …But I think they need to know that people like Dave Chappelle or people like me or whoever supports them. And that’s all they need to know.”
Unfortunately many of those Lemon called out during his CNN Tonight show — Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Tracee Ellis Ross — had actually spoken out and or were taking action to personal help Floyd’s family.
The rant, while impassioned, was a clear indication that Lemon hadn’t done his homework and he didn’t care about being on the outs with the black community … again. Lemon is just now getting back into Black folks good graces after comments he made covering protests in Ferguson.