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Dave Chappelle's surprise Netflix special 8:46 explodes on YouTube

The comedian tackles police brutality and the killing of George Floyd.

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Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Dave Chappelle rails against police brutality in a surprise special on YouTube released by Netflix.

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The audience members wear masks and sit spaced apart from one another in the twilight. It's no ordinary comedy show, even before Dave Chappelle tears into a searing address about George Floyd, police brutality and the current wave of civil protest.

"This is weird," says Chappelle as he takes the stage for his new Netflix comedy special 8:46, which premieres Friday for free on Netflix's comedy channel on  YouTube . The fiery half-hour show was filmed outdoors on June 6 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with social distancing procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's hard to figure out what to say about George Floyd," Chappelle begins, before discussing the May 25 incident in which a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, killing him. 

"This is not funny at all," Chappelle exclaims as he furiously recounts the endless violence inflaming massive protests against racial injustice across the US and the world. "The streets will speak for themselves," he declares, before the special ends with footage from recent Black Lives Matter protests. 

Global scenes of Black Lives Matter protests show outrage far beyond US

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Black Lives Matter. Visit blacklivesmatter.carrd.co to learn how to donate, sign petitions and protest safely.