Netflix Loses Its Shine as Critics Focus on Chappelle Special

“Netflix has gone from the underdog and outsider poking the establishment to the epicenter of the Hollywood establishment,” he said. “When you are in the center, everything is magnified 100 times. This is going to happen more and more as society itself struggles with these problems. What will make things even more complicated with Netflix is ​​that it is a global company with huge international ambitions.”

Chappelle, 48, has had a long and celebrated career, winning an Emmy for his 2018 Netflix special, “Equanimity,” and Grammys for albums from the Netflix specials “The Age of Spin,” “Deep in the Heart.” of Texas’ ” and “Sticks & Stones.” In 2019, he won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Last year, he received critical acclaim from critics for “8:46,” a heartfelt show about the death of George Floyd and the fraught state of race relations in America.

He gained his reputation largely through “Chappelle’s Show,” a Comedy Central sketch series, and created a legend for himself when he walked away from it after having doubts about his own success. In particular, he told Time magazine in 2005, he was concerned to hear a white man laugh at a sketch that denounced racial stereotypes and wondered if his material was being misinterpreted. “When he laughed, I felt uncomfortable,” he said.

Critical reactions to “The Closer” have been mixed, with most reviewers praising Mr. Chappelle admitted, while questioning whether his desire to push back against his opponents led him to use rhetorical tactics favored by internet trolls. Roxane Gay noted in a Times op-ed column “five or six bright moments of brilliance” in a special that featured “a joyless diatribe of disjointed and seething anger, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.”

Last week, as controversy over the special heated up, Mr. Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. In response to a standing ovation, he told the crowd, “If this is what gets canceled, I think it’s great.”

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