Bill Bellamy Defends Dave Chappelle and Takes on Cancel Culture: ‘Everyone’s So Sensitive’ (Exclusive)

Bill Bellamy attends the Def Comedy Jam 25th Anniversary. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Bill Bellamy says cancel culture has gone too far, and part of the problem is audiences have suddenly become “so sensitive.”

The actor and stand-up comic spoke with Urban Hollywood 411 about the current state of comedy and the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s comments about transgender individuals in Netflix special The Closer.

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Bellamy currently stars in the BET+ holiday movie A Rich Christmas, which began streaming on Nov. 4. He plays real estate mogul Marshall Rich, who decides to teach his spoiled daughter a lesson when she lands in trouble during the holiday season. The film is produced by Tressa Azarel Smallwood. “The Young and the Restless” alum Victoria Rowell directed the project from a script written by Shateka Johnson.

Read our interview with Bill Bellamy below on A Rich Christmas, his thoughts on Dave Chappelle and cancel culture.

Urban Hollywood 411: We’re not used to seeing you in holiday movies. What made you choose A Rich Christmas?

Bill Bellamy: It was the story that was just perfect. It resonated family, it really resonated a father-daughter relationship, which I can relate to. I have a freshman in college. So I was just like, ‘I’ve never played a dad before in my whole career…’ I just knew that I could bring something very personal to, to this experience. And I think it shows on film. You will really enjoy it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll see.

Urban Hollywood 411: You deliver some tough love in the movie. Are you like that in real life?

Bellamy: You damn right! No, I have to because my kids, my real kids live a very nice life, and I always have to teach and show them that it requires a lot of hard work to be successful. If somebody just gave it to you, you wouldn’t appreciate it anyway. So they’re like, ‘Daddy, gosh, you could buy it for me.’ Like I say sometimes, ‘no is good.’

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Urban Hollywood 411: Let’s talk about the controversy over Dave Chappelle’s special The Closer. Do you think comedians are concerned about saying what they want?

Bellamy: We are able to say what we want to say, obviously, but the problem is now everyone’s so sensitive. This whole idea of a cancel culture, which I don’t get where and how that came about, like people can’t just be like, no longer working because they said something. First and foremost as a comedian, we have to have the liberty to shine a light on things. That’s what we do. We take observations, we take ideologies, we take and we flip them upside down, right? I feel like this — as long as it’s not mean spirited, then it’s called a sense of humor. You know, that’s what we do.

Urban Hollywood 411: What are your thoughts on the Chappelle controversy?

Bellamy: We’re not like politicians. We’re not like journalists, or people that are writing from a different perspective or different eye. The comedic eye is one of lightheartedness and taking a, maybe even a serious topic, and flipping it. In Dave Chappelle’s case, his contribution to the game, if you really think about it, he’s always pushed the envelope when it comes to racism. He’s always pushed the envelope when it comes to Black people in what we experience, right? But now, all of a sudden, he’s not doing that. He’s doing what he does best. He’s a very intelligent brother. You can tell he took the time because you can’t just randomly say that, right? He took the time, and if people just stop and think about the time he took to carve out that entire set, and make it make sense, they would go, ‘Oh my God, he’s brilliant.’ But no, the [cancel] culture, they take a soundbite and they try to make it [into something]. That’s not what it is. I’m gonna say what I gotta say. And I’m gonna make you have fun. I’m gonna make you laugh at yourself, laugh at the hypocrisy of thought. That’s what we do.
Watch our Bill Bellamy interview below.

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