Most people don't know what it's like to stand up there and speak their mind. I have a venue to do that. I get paid to do that. It's not like I'm doing heavy lifting up there. It's not like I'm solving the world's problems. It's like I'm hanging out with a bunch of people and it's cool.
There's a lot of people who don't want anything from me but to laugh and have a good time. You see them at the show and they like - they dress up to come see your show and stuff. And they pack these auditoriums and it's a lot of fun, man. It's like, this is how I started, and it's still fun for me.
Why is Dave Chappelle going to Africa? Why does Mariah Carey make a hundred-million dollar deal and take her clothes off on TRL? A weak person can not get here and talk to you. Ain't no weak people talking to you. So what is happening in Hollywood? Nobody knows! The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It's dismissive. I don't understand this person, so they're crazy. That's bullshit. These people are not crazy, they're strong people. Maybe the environment is a little sick.
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Things like racism are institutionalized. You might not know any bigots. You feel like "well I don't hate black people so I'm not a racist," but you benefit from racism. Just by the merit, the color of your skin. The opportunities that you have, you're privileged in ways that you might not even realize because you haven't been deprived of certain things. We need to talk about these things in order for them to change.
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If someone sits and stares at you while you eat, you won't even eat the way you normally do, because it'll make you so uncomfortable. If I look at my dog when he's eating, he will look at me like, "Dave, I will bite you. What are you looking at? I'm trying to eat." It's something that dehumanizes a person, being on display like that.
There's not too many people that don't think I'm crazy, for walking away from so much money," he said. "I'm at a restaurant with my wife, it's a nice restaurant, we're eating dinner. I look across the room, I say, "You see this guy over here, across the room? He has $100 million." And we're eating the same entree. So, OK, fine, I don't have $50 million or whatever it was, but say I have $10 million in the bank. The difference in lifestyle is miniscule.
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I would go to work on the show and I felt awful every day, that's not the way it was. ... I felt like some kind of prostitute or something. If I feel so bad, why keep on showing up to this place? I'm going to Africa. The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.
Most of the people around me have a vested interest in how much money I make. You know, so a celebrity could find themselves in a position where people could have meetings about their life without them involved. And when I say 'their life' I mean not their professional life either. They could talk about their personal life.