Mayor of Hartford Tells Dave Chappelle to Stop Whining, Do Yoga


Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has weighed in on the Chappelle controversy currently making his city Internet famous.

If you missed the controversy- in late August, reports surfaced that Comedian Dave Chappelle– on tour with Funny or Die after a long hiatus- had a “meltdown” during a set in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ebony writer Lesli-Ann Lewis, who was present at the show, took to the web to not only correct the story but to give it some context.

Her account, and the dozens of videos posted to Youtube after the fact, offer a different account of what occurred– one in which Chappelle was interrupted minutes into his set– a mark of a crowd that became increasingly rowdy as he went on.

At one point he informed them;

You are booing yourself.  I want you all to go home and look in the mirror and say boo.  That’s how I feel about you.

Lewis’ article puts his reaction in context:

“While the racial makeup of the crowd was incidental, the way they treated Chappelle is not. It speaks to a long complicated history: the relationship between the White audience and the Black entertainer. This is a relationship you can easily trace to early minstrel shows, to archetypes of Blacks that still define the roles we’re offered today. We have seen more Black comedians bow to racist tropes, demean themselves—albeit unintentionally—for White audiences.

Chappelle wasn’t having a meltdown. This was a Black artist shrugging the weight of White consumption, deciding when enough was enough. This isn’t the first time Chappelle has done so and it isn’t the first time his behavior has been characterized as a meltdown.”

The crowd at Hartford had something in mind that they wanted to see.  They wanted to hear bits from The Chappelle show– when he refused to comply, they got angry.  Not because his material was mediocre but because it wasn’t what they anticipated. There was no interest in listening to his set. What should have been a monologue turned into a dialogue featuring a hostile party.

He was being urged to shuck and jive and he refused.

Chappelle’s comments days later at another show in Chicago give us more insight into the comedian’s state of mind.  Cheered on by the crowd, Chappelle tackled the controversy.

So much better than Hartford.  I will never go back- I won’t even go to Hartford for fucking gas.  I don’t want anything bad to happen to the United States but if North Korea ever drops a nuclear bomb on this country I swear to God I hope it lands in Hartford Connecticut… that crowd was evil.

Addressing the racial dynamic of the crowd, he joked:

I wanted to pull a reverse Kramer and call them all crackers or something like that. I knew that shit would be on Youtube. ‘Funnyman Dave Chappelle calls a room full of white people crackers. Couldn’t do that.  ‘Cause I felt bad when Kramer did that shit to us.

The Mayor of Hartford’s response?


Dave Chappelle asked the crowd in Hartford to respect him.

They declined.

He pushed back.

The city’s mayor told him to do some Yoga.

It’d be easy to brush this off as folks being overly sensitive or projecting racial insecurities onto something unrelated. But in truth– whether we’re discussing black women being used as props in Miley Cyrus’s act, or Dave Chappelle being drowned out by a hostile crowd– what we’re ultimately discussing is respect and the difference between delivering the joke as opposed to being its subject.

Angel Haze Responds to Richard Cohen

Rapper Angel Haze has joined in the chorus of folks calling out Richard Cohen for his indefensible post- VMA column.

In case you missed it the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen suggested that there was a relationship between Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and the Steubenville Rape case and it went a little something like this:

“She’s a cheap act, no doubt about it, but for me her performance was an opportunity to discuss one of the summer’s most arresting pieces of journalism — a long New Yorker account of what became known as the Steubenville Rape. Cyrus should read it.”

After discussing the specifics of the Steubenville Rape for some time he circles back to how and why this is really about Miley:

“But let me also suggest that acts such as hers not only objectify women but debase them. They encourage a teenage culture that has set the women’s movement back on its heels. What is being celebrated is not sexuality but sexual exploitation, a mean casualness that deprives intimacy of all intimacy.”

Cohen has been taken to task for his piece and rightly so.  Fundamentally he’s not discussing “teenage” culture but perpetuating rape culture–namely the ongoing implication that the rape of a woman is hers to prevent.  By his logic Miley’s VMA performance somehow gives drunk frat dudes the okay because something about casual sex?

Angel Haze went after Cohen in an epic Twitter rant- previously, she’s told her own story.

In a song called “Cleaning Out My Closet” that samples music from Eminem’s song by the same name she offers a haunting and horrifying account of being sexually abused as a child. At one point she raps about coming to terms with what happened to her:

“And psychologically I was just as fucked as they come
I was confused, I had to prove I wasn’t fucked from the jump
I was afraid of myself, I had no love for myself
I tried to kill, I tried to hide, I tried to run from myself
There was a point in my life where I didn’t like who I was
So I’d create the other people I would try to become
Sexuality came into play and with as scared as I was
I was extremely scared of men so I started liking girls
I started starving myself, fucked up my bodily health
I didn’t wanna be attracted to nobody else
I didn’t want the appeal, wanted to stunt my own growth
But there’s a fucking reason behind every scar that I show
I never got to be a kid so that’s as far as I grow
My mental state is out of date, and that’s as far as I know
My biggest problem was fear, and what being fearful could do
It made me run, it made me hide it made me scared of the truth
I’m not deranged anymore, I’m not the same anymore
I mean I’m sane but I’m insane but not the same as before”

Rape is a real thing that happens to real people.  Different people handle it differently. Some internalize the belief that it was somehow their fault — columns like Cohen’s serve to validate that assumption.

Richard Cohen is wrong.

You can listen to Angel Haze’s song in full below and check out the lyrics here.

Christian Superstars For Same Sex Marriage

Miley loves Perez

Perez Hilton has been making good use of his Twitter feeds, getting messages of support from celebs regarding his gay marriage question during the Miss USA pageant.

Miley Cyrus who is very active in her church Twittered back:

Jesus loves you AND your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! thats like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz hes gay and that is WRONG and very sad! like i said everyone deserves to be happy.

A little later the teen super star added:

am a christian and i love you [Perez] – gay or not. BECAUSE you are no different that anyone else! we are all gods children! i am not saying this so would be nice on your site (though that would be nice jk;) but because the LORD has spoken ‘love cuz god loves’.

Heidi Montag, one of the stars of The Hills–who is marrying co-star Spenser Prett on Saturday in Pasadena after eloping  to Mexico five months ago–sent Perez this message:

God says in the bible that we should love our neighbor and he created us all as equals. I know in my heart that gays and lesbians should have the same government rights that Spencer and I will when we get married. So, yes, this blonde Christian believes in gay marriage and I hope to one day go to YOUR wedding, Perez!!!

And fellow blonde Brintey Spears, who was raised Christian, Twitted Perez:

Love is love! People should be able to do whatever makes them happy! -Britney

Miley Cyrus Looking at “Right-to-Work” States for New Movie

Let’s do it without a union!

Teen millionaire star sensation Miley Cyrus is readying to shoot a new movie called Last Song. Miley, who rocketed to fame as the ever pure and perky Hannah Montana, says:

I’ve always been lucky to play parts that relate to me, and this doesn’t at all. I have my issues, but not as bad as this chick. So I’m happy to play someone that’s just kind of out there and not someone that I’m like.

But what is interesting many people is not who Miley’s playing, but where the movie–produced by Offspring Entertainment and distributed by Walt Disney Company–will shoot. Yesterday North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue canceled a new conference at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington about Last Song coming to that state. North Carolina’s Commerce Department later said more time was needed to work out the project’s details.

Last Song could generate hundreds of jobs for the so-called “right-to-work” state from production crews to extras, plus generate revenue from catering, hotels, transportation and related expenses. In a right-to-work state, no union membership is required to work on film productions, so a greater number of certain positions can be filled from outside of unions, unlike in Hollywood. However, right-to-work does not include actors for studio productions.

Gov. Perdue says Georgia, also a right-to-work state, is eager for the production:

Nobody knows what’s going to happen. … I don’t know what figures they got from Georgia, but Georgia wants them badly, and we want them badly. And by Monday, there’ ll be four or five other states that want them badly.

Many states will offer tax credits and other incentives to lure productions. North Carolina has a 15 percent film incentive package, while Georgia’s can be as much 30 percent. Meanwhile California Gov. Schwarzenegger, himself an actor, has resisted film incentive programs for the state. This year, Hollywood has only three major films scheduled to shoot there (plus California just raised sales and income taxes).

In related news, yesterday, the two actors’ unions which cover the majority of film, television, and radio programs (SAG/AFTRA) came to terms with producers over contracts covering commercials, hopefully paving the way to resolve the looming film and television strike.