Dave Chappelle Claps Back At Critics And Honors Stan Lathan After Winning Three Emmys For ‘Sticks And Stones’
Dave Chappelle | Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post

Dave Chappelle’s controversial comedy special Sticks and Stones won three Emmy awards during the Creative Arts Emmy virtual ceremonies.

Chappelle received two Emmy awards for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special and Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded). His director and Hollywood veteran Stan Lathan, who is the father of actress Sanaa Lathan, also received an Emmy award for Outstanding Directing For A Variety Special. According to IMDB, Lathan has over 100 TV credits to his name, but this Emmy was his first for directing.

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Sticks and Stones was a Netflix exclusive, but the special drew harsh criticism for Chappelle’s refusal to readjust his perspectives on a number of polarizing issues related to the current political climate. When the show won, the critically-acclaimed comic chose the celebratory moment to fire back at his many naysayers. 

“Boy, this comes as a complete surprise,” Chappelle said in a rye tone during his acceptance speech. “I mean, I read all the reviews and they said so many terrible things. They were embarrassed for me; I had lost my way; it wasn’t even worth watching—I hope all you critics learn from this. This is a teachable moment. Shut the f**k up, forever.”

Chappelle also took the opportunity to publicly celebrate Lathan’s body of work. Lathan’s credits include Sanford and Son, Eight Is Enough, Beat Street, Hill Street Blues, Roc, Moesha, and many more. He has been a staple in the entertainment industry since the 1960s. 

He directed Chappelle’s previous specials Dave Chappelle: For What It’s Worth and Dave Chappelle: Killin’ Them Softly. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 06: (L-R) Robbie Praw, Stan Lathan, VP of Original Documentary and Comedy for Netflix Lisa Nishimura, Chief Content Officer for Netflix Ted Sarandos, and Dave Chappelle attend the Netflix FYSee Kick Off Party at Raleigh Studios on May 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Netflix)

“Stan Lathan has been directing television since 1968,” Chappelle said. “Any show I watched growing up, he directed it,” he added before listing a number of Lathan’s credits, including Sesame Street, Sanford and Son, and Good Times. 

“And finally—you motherf***ers, finally—gave him an Emmy tonight. He deserves so much more, but I’m glad you came around.”  

Chappelle expressed his hope that the success he achieved without compromise would allow comedians to communicate on stage without being self-conscious. 

“It’s a special night because comedy gets to be itself,” Chappelle continued. “It’s all we’ve ever wanted. I hope the war is over.”


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