Dave Chappelle blasted San Francisco’s rampant homelessness crisis during a surprise concert in Golden Gate City last week.
‘What happened to this place?’ the comedian said as he told the audience in the Masonic Auditorium how he saw a homeless man defecate outside an Indian restaurant he was about to eat at.
Chappelle, 49, said the town had turned into a “half ‘Glee’, half zombie movie”, according to SFGATE’s opinion of the show, adding that he had become the Tenderloin.
‘You all [expletive] need a Batman!’ Chappelle said. The Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco is known for its crime, homelessness, and drug issues.
Shocking footage shows addicts openly smoking drugs on sidewalks in the area, where overdose deaths have soared in recent months.
Comedian Dave Chappelle, 49, slammed San Francisco’s rampant homelessness crisis during a surprise concert at the Masonic Auditorium in Golden Gate City last week
Addicts openly smoke drugs on the sidewalk in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, where overdose deaths have soared in recent months
Chappelle performed the last-minute show in the city – which he called his second home – without any special guests.
The last time he was in San Francisco, he brought Twitter scion Elon Musk onto the stage for a chorus of boos.
Chappelle caused a backlash in 2021 for material from his Netflix comedy special “The Closer” that some members of the LGBTQ+ community said ridiculed transgender people. His supporters saw it as a cry against cancel culture.
But during Thursday’s performance, he avoided any segments about transgender people and instead focused on the problem of homelessness and crime in the city.
An estimated 38,000 people in San Francisco are homeless each night, representing a 35% increase since 2019, SFGATE reported.
San Francisco’s decline was again highlighted by a sharp rise in overdose deaths among the city’s homeless population.
The city saw a staggering 41% increase in drug-related deaths in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, as fentanyl ravaged the city’s homeless population.
San Francisco saw a staggering 41% increase in drug-related deaths in the first quarter of 2023
An estimated 38,000 people in San Francisco are homeless each night, which is a 35% increase since 2019, SFGATE reported.
Shocking footage shows addicts openly smoking drugs on sidewalks in the area, where overdose deaths have soared in recent months
California’s coastal hub saw 200 people die from overdoses between January and March, up from 142 deaths in 2022, according to recent data of the city medical examiner.
That equates to one overdose death every 10 hours in a city that has seen its reputation as a coastal gem ravaged by worsening crime, drugs and homelessness rates, though it remains home to billionaires. of technology.
The overdose victims were disproportionately black and Latino men, and often based in the Tenderloin neighborhood, a gritty downtown neighborhood where a drug treatment center was closed in December.
Scenes of outdoor drug use and squalid homeless encampments also remain tragically common in the Golden Gate city.
People living on the streets have been particularly affected – with the number of homeless people dying of drug overdoses having doubled.
Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is often trafficked from Mexico and can kill even minute amounts, was detected in 159 of the deaths.
The drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
It’s cheap, compact, relatively easy to smuggle into the United States, and mixed into pills that then cost users their lives, who are often unaware they’re taking something so potent.
Methamphetamine and cocaine were also present, although to a lesser extent.
The sharp rise in deaths began in December and continued into January, a record high.
This followed the closure of the Tenderloin Center, where addicts were allowed to use drugs and where the overdose reversal treatment, Narcan, was available for those who had taken too much.
Open drug addicts in the Tenderloin district. Fentanyl is the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States, as well as in San Francisco
Chappelle speaks at De La Soul’s DA.ISY Experience at Webster Hall in March 2023 in New York City
About half an hour into the show last week, patrons began shouting questions at Chappelle.
Some wanted to know what he thought of the homeless man who got hosed down in San Francisco earlier this year. Others yelled at him repeating lines from his old Comedy Central show.
SFGATE reported that instead of shouting back, he engaged with the audience and even asked for details about the incident with the homeless man.
Chappelle generated anger last year after the October release of The Closer, which included remarks about the transgender community and prompted a swift reaction from offended viewers and even staff members at Netflix, which aired the latter. years a multitude of comic book specials.
The backlash included an organized walkout by employees at Netflix’s Los Angeles headquarters, after the streaming giant’s CEO, Ted Sarandos, defended Chappelle’s jokes as artistic expression and nothing more than an example of the “creative freedom” of the actor.
The special even prompted a response from transgender star Caitlyn Jenner, who also defended the comedian for his comments.
In the special, Chappelle joked that women see trans women the same way black people might see white women wearing black faces.
He also joked that women have a right to feel angry towards trans women, ever since Jenner won Glamor magazine’s 2015 Woman of the Year award.
“I would be crazy as fuck if I were a woman,” Chappelle sarcastically says in a passage that had been deemed problematic.
When Chappelle appeared on SNL in November, he declined to discuss his controversial jokes, instead devoting the first part of his monologue to Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic remarks.
The comedian’s show in Minneapolis last summer was forced to change venue due to the backlash and instead was held at the Varsity Theater
This increasingly politically correct climate has since become a pronounced subject in Chappelle’s material – although, notably, his sets, while still plagued by his characteristic tongue-in-cheek observations, have become markedly more toned down since The Closer.
When he appeared on SNL in November, he declined to discuss anything related to his controversial jokes – but seemed to allude to them a bit heavyhandedly with his material, which largely focused on topics that underlie persistent stereotypes – anti-Semites and others. .
The appearance was Chappelle’s third on the show, following an appearance in 2016 and a return to the show in 2020, in an episode that saw him lambaste then-ousted President Trump after this year’s presidential election. -there.
Prior to this performance, SNL staffers, apparently still angry at the comic’s past material, threatened to boycott the episode – but ultimately didn’t follow through on those threats.
One took to Instagram to claim ‘transphobia is murder and should be condemned’ after Chappelle’s split was announced, while others were reportedly furious that the showrunners cast the controversial comedian.