Dave Chappelle's controversial new Netflix special is given a rare ZERO rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes but 99% fans approval rating

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Dave Chappelle's controversial new Netflix special is given a rare ZERO rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes following backlash over his jokes about Michael Jackson and R. Kelly sex scandals - but fans hit back by awarding it with a 99% approval rating
  • Chappelle's hour-long stand up set 'Sticks & Stones' received an upgraded critics score of 17 and then 29 percent Tuesday after an initial 0 percent rating
  • Rotten Tomatoes unveiled an equally rare 99% audience rating Tuesday
  • Chappelle's jokes about the Me Too movement, Michael Jackson's pedophilia accusers and the LGBTQ community have drawn scorn from progressive writers
  • Others have praised the comedian for standing up to so-called 'cancel culture'
  • Rappers Nas and T.I. said the special makes Chappelle this generation's comedy GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)

Comedian Dave Chappelle's newest Netflix special 'Sticks & Stones has sharply divided critics and audiences


Comedian Dave Chappelle's newest Netflix special 'Sticks & Stones" has sharply divided critics and audiences
Critics and audiences couldn't disagree more about Dave Chappelle's eyebrow-raising Netflix special, 'Sticks & Stones,' which has been slammed by culture writers as unabashed hate speech yet lauded by fans as one of the best comedy performances of all time.
Chappelle's latest hour-long stand-up set for Netflix received an extremely rare 0 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating from five professional critics, placing it among the ranks of all-time box office bombs like 'Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2' (2004) and Dennis Rodman's 'Simon Sez' (1999).
That abysmally-low critics rating rose to 17 and then 29 percent on Tuesday - the same day Rotten Tomatoes unveiled Chappelle's special has received an equally rare 99 percent audience score.

The high audience rating was the cumulative score from at least 3,753 casual reviewers who praised the comedian for daring to broach controversial topics that most comic stars have avoided in the era of 'cancel culture.'
Such a stark contrast among critics and regular viewers is almost unheard of and illustrates the wide cultural divide among the general public and media elites.
Chappelle received added adulation for lambasting both sides of America's political divide and, most of all, for making people laugh 'hysterically' in the process.
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The stand up comedy film initially received a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes before being upgraded to 17 and then 29 percent on Tuesday. Yet audiences gave the film a 99 percent rating



The stand up comedy film initially received a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes before being upgraded to 17 and then 29 percent on Tuesday. Yet audiences gave the film a 99 percent rating
Chappelle's jokes about the Me Too movement, Michael Jackson's accusers and the LGBTQ community have drawn scorn from progressive writers



Chappelle's jokes about the Me Too movement, Michael Jackson's accusers and the LGBTQ community have drawn scorn from progressive writers


'Dave Chappelle at his finest, brutal, brilliant and above all hilarious,' wrote reviewer Ed B. 'Nothing is sacred in this, and in that he treats everyone as equal. Simply fantastic.'

Rappers Nas and T.I. piled on the praise-fest for Chappelle over Labor Day weekend.

'No diss to the other greats but... bro the Greatest Today,' Nas wrote on his Instagram page along with a promotional photo from Chappelle's special.

'Legend of epic proportions!!' added T.I. 'Damn wtf these soft *ss politically correct, cant' take a joke *ss critics say... Bro is the BEST I've ever seen... FEARLESS!!!'

Rapper T.I.



Rapper Nas


Rappers Nas and T.I. piled on the praise-fest for Chappelle over Labor Day weekend


An Instagram post from rapper T.I.



An Instagram post from rapper Nas


Nas called Chappelle 'the Greatest Today,' in a Labor Day weekend IG post. T.I. followed up with his own praise, calling Chappelle 'FEARLESS!!!' and a 'Legend of epic proportions!!'
Critics and audiences agree that the special is graphic, vulgar, and extremely offensive, even if it's also funny.

During his set, Chappelle defended his friends and fellow comedians Kevin Hart and Louis CK who have both previously been 'cancelled' because of various scandals - Hart for making homophobic jokes on Twitter and CK for masturbating in front of other female comics.

Chappelle unapologetically denounced 'Leaving Neverland' subjects Wade Robson and James Safechuck for accusing Michael Jackson of molesting them a decade after the singer's death, saying, 'Michael Jackson has been dead for 10 years and this n*gga got two new cases!'

'I'm going to say something that I'm not allowed say,' Chappelle added. 'I don't believe these mother f*ckers.'

He suggested child actor and 'Home Alone' star Macauley Culkin's statements that Jackson never molested him prove Robson and Safechuck are lying about the late King of Pop.

Michael Jackson accuser Wade Robson



Actor Macauley Culkin


Chappelle unapologetically denounced Wade Robson (left) and James Safechuck for accusing Michael Jackson of molesting them a decade after Jackson's death. He suggested child actor and 'Home Alone' star Macauley Culkin's (right) statements that Jackson never molested him prove Robson and Safechuck are lying about the late King of Pop
An old picture of a young Macauley Culkin with the late Michael Jackson


An old picture of a young Macauley Culkin with the late Michael Jackson
'I'm not a pedophile... but if I was, Macaulay Culkin's the first kid I'm f*cking — I'll tell you that right now... I'd be a hero. They'd be like, "Hey, that guy over there f*cked the kid from Home Alone! And you know how hard HE is to catch!"' Chappelle quipped during his performance as the crowd in Atlanta erupted with laughter.

But the 'Chappelle Show' star and 'Piss On You' sketch writer also conceded R. Kelly 'probably did that sh*t,' referencing the disgraced R&B singer's own pedophilia scandals.

He mocked Kelly's stupidity for allegedly filming himself having sex with an underage girl while both he and the girl repeatedly mentioned her age on camera.

The taboo references have ruffled quite a few feathers - Safechuck has since fired back at Chappelle, saying both he and Netflix are 'shaming abuse victims' - but it was Chappelle's ongoing jokes about the LGBTQ community, who he referred to as, 'the alphabet people,' and most notably transgender individuals, that have drawn the most scorn.

Chappelle conceded R. Kelly (center) 'probably did that sh*t,' referencing the disgraced R&B singer's own pedophilia scandals


Chappelle conceded R. Kelly (center) 'probably did that sh*t,' referencing the disgraced R&B singer's own pedophilia scandals
Chappelle has made similar jokes in at least two of his previous Netflix specials and has continued to defy his progressive detractors who still remember and celebrate his ongoing anti-racist antics, but insist his jokes about sexual orientation aren't acceptable in the modern era.

'His approach comes off like a defiant rejection of change at any cost,' Vice culture writer Taylor Hosking wrote in her piece titled 'You Can Definitely Skip Dave Chappelle's New Netflix Special "Sticks and Stones"'.

'As he keeps going down this path, drawing attention to the worst aspects of his important career, the biggest cost will be tarnishing his own legacy,' she added.

HuffPost writer Todd Van Luling included the special in one of his latest 'What To Watch on Netflix' write ups, but noted that the film 'isn't as good or smart as it wants to be,' in his view.

'Sure it's "dangerous" for him to defend Louis CK and Kevin Hart for their respective controversies, but Chappelle's treatment of both subjects ends up sounding more like a friend sticking up for his buddies than someone with a point about free speech worth listening to,' the writer opined.

Comedian Kevin Hart



Comedian Louis CK



During his set, Chappelle defended his friends and fellow comedians Kevin Hart and Louis CK who have both previously been 'cancelled' because of various scandals
In a piece for Slate, culture writer Inkoo Kang argues 'Dave Chappelle's Sticks & Stones Fights for the Rights of the Already-Powerful.'

But Chappelle's supporters on the left and right of the political spectrum have contended the so-called 'woke mob' on Twitter has severely damaged the careers and lives of some people who may not deserve it, in addition to near-unanimously despised figures like Harvey Weinstein or the afore mentioned R. Kelly.

Thousands of non-professional critics gave Chappelle's special a virtually undisputed five out of five star rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Casual reviewer Jacob R lashed out Chappelle's critics, saying '0% rating? GTFO.'

'One of the realest and funniest sets of all time,' he added. ' literally made an account to rate this.'

Fellow reviewer Mary J said 'Dave is a legend, and the critics are extremely political to give [Sticks & Stones] a [poor] review.'

Many critics have denounced Chappelle for the LGBTQ and transgender jokes in his 'Sticks & Stones' special


Many critics have denounced Chappelle for the LGBTQ and transgender jokes in his 'Sticks & Stones' special
Fellow civilian reviewer Callsign V called Chappelle's show 'amazing,' and said it was 'the breath of fresh air people have been waiting for.'

'Covers both sides (now controversial topics) of politics and social movements... he leaves no stone unturned,' the reviewer added.

Reviewer Anthony B called the special 'rude, crude and hilarious!'

Gary F said, 'As always Chappelle makes you laugh, makes you uncomfortable, makes you laugh at uncomfortable jokes and laugh at things you shouldn't! That is what comedians are supposed to do! Laugh at him, yourself, each other, and the world we live in! Good job DC!'

'Finally the return of actual comedy,' wrote Marcus T.

'This special is a master work in comedy,' wrote Miles D. 'It's Chappelle at his best. He is now definitely in the ranks of the GOAT's.'

Chappelle fan Jesslyn B. said Chappelle is 'finally saying what the silent majority have not.'

'And now the silent majority are speaking by giving this special the highest possible score,' she added. 'It's the funniest, most truthful thing I've seen in a long time. PC culture is going to ruin this country. It's time to be done with it!'