Karlos Dillard is the Seattle-based comedian who accused a woman of calling him the “n-word” and flipping him off following a road rage incident. Dillard posted the video to his Instagram page on June 22. Heavy has reached out to Dillard for comment on the video.
Dillard, 27, who is Black, begins by calling the woman “Karen” while pursuing her in a car. “Karen” has become a meme, typically meaning an entitled and racist white woman. As the woman’s car pulls into a driveway, Dillard confronts the woman further. The woman begins crying immediately and can be heard saying that she has a Black husband. Dillard replies, saying, “I don’t care. Why did you flip me off?” The woman then says, “You are totally calling me things that I’m not.” The woman also said she has been to multiple Black Lives Matter marches, according to a passerby who talks to Dillard during the video.
Dillard tells a bystander that he felt as the woman became angry after he failed to signal at an intersection. Dillard tells the same bystander that he is a Postmates delivery driver.
Dillard is also an actor and comedian who lives in Seattle with his husband, Kris. On his Instagram page, Dillard writes in his bio section, “Using comedy to shine light into the darkness.” Dillard has more than 28,000 followers on the platform. That bio also promotes Dillard’s book, Ward of the State: A Memoir of Foster Care.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Dillard Is Selling T-Shirts That Reference the Incident
Dillard tells the woman later in the video that he would not post the video on Instagram. At that point, the woman can be heard saying, “My heart is all about this movement.” The woman also says that she sped away from Dillard because he had his phone out and was recording her.
In the wake of his encounter going viral, Dillard has begun selling T-shirts that reference the incident. One T-shirt reads, “Karen… Are You Okay?” Another says, “Keep That Same Energy Karen.” When asked by a follower why he was selling T-shirts, Dillard said:
I sure am because I was delivery Postmates while she tried to kill me with her car. White people have profited off black oppression and hurt generations so shall we. I’m also a comedian with a T-shirt company. The only thing weird about this is how she reacted.
Another T-shirt that references the woman saying she has a Black husband during her encounter with Dillard. The selling page for that T-shirt includes the words, “Please if you have a black husband don’t tokenize them.”
2. Dillard Appeared on an Episode of Divorce Court in 2018 & Says on His Website He Is an Actor Who Is ‘More Than Just a Viral Video Star’
On his official website, Dillard refers to himself as an “Actor, Author, Comedian.” Dillard says, “Put the extra in ordinary to become extraordinary.” He also refers to himself as “More than just a viral video star.” On Dillard’s Backstage acting profile, he says he appeared in an episode of Divorce Court in April 2018. During his appearance on the show, Dillard said he did not believe in divorce.
In May 2016, Dillard’s husband, Kristopher Dillard, was the victim of an attack on a city bus in Seattle. Kristopher Dillard told KOMO News at the time that he was upset at how the investigation was handled from the start, as officers couldn’t decide which branch had jurisdiction. Kristopher Dillard told KOMO, “In my heart of hearts, I know that he won’t get caught.”
Dillard and his husband have a podcast named Kicking it with Kris and Karlos. On the podcast’s Apple profile, the pair are described as “Black, gay, married and funny as f**k!” The pair say that they are “not politically correct.”
Dillard writes in the bio on his website about his upbringing in Detroit, Michigan, and says he moved to Seattle, Washington, “to find [himself].” Dillard adds, “I never knew that it would lead me to the journey I am on today. I am most known for my quick sassy remarks and being real no matter the situation.” Dillard also says he has done modeling work in Seattle. Dillard maintains an Instagram profile for his modeling headshots.
Dillard says on his bio page that he was abandoned at the age of 15 and that he worked three jobs while putting himself through high school and college. Dillard says he was homeless during this period. On his Backstage profile, Dillard says he attended Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, graduating in 2015. Dillard says he studied political science. Dillard also attended Seattle Talent, an acting school, graduating in 2016. On his Facebook page, Dillard says he studied politics at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. According to his LinkedIn page, Dillard worked as a beauty advisor at Lancome between October 2013 and January 2015. From there, Dillard says he worked as a stylist at Michael Kors. In his About section, Dillard writes, “My goal is to be a better person and to have a better business then I did the day before. ”
3. Dillard Published a Memoir About His Life in February 2020
According to the Amazon description of Dillard’s book, he was taken from his mother’s care in Detroit by the State of Michigan after he and his siblings suffered neglect from his mother. From there, Dillard said that he was placed in “foster homes that treated him worse.” Dillard said he suffered further abuse, mentally and sexually. The description reads in part, “Karlos was told he was not loved, he was not wanted and he was nothing but a ward of the State.” Dillard’s book was published in February 2020, according to Amazon.
Dillard crowdfunded the book on Kickstarter in October 2019. In the project description, Dillard said he worked on the book for five years. Dillard added that the funds he had saved in order to publish the book were drained after he had to return home to bury his mother and sister who had died in a car accident. Michigan Live reported in March 2018 that Jatia McGough, 30, and her mother Mia Dorris, 50, were killed in a car accident in the Redford Township in the Detroit-area. Another woman, McGough’s girlfriend, Raeniquah “Niiqua” Watson, 22, was also killed. Dillard set up a GoFundMe page in order to pay for the proper burials of his family members.
The Google Books description of Dillard says he “made a name for himself making people laugh while addressing social issues.” Dillard also appeared in commercials for Amazon, Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft. Dillard also describes himself as an advocate for foster children. The bio adds that Dillard lives in Seattle, Washington, with his husband and their two dogs.
4. Dillard Said in 2017 He Voted for Donald Trump
In a July 2017 interview on 3 Black Guys With a Mic, Dillard said that he voted for Donald Trump. The episode is titled, “Karlos Dillard: The Black Gay Conservative Atheist Interview.” Dillard later told the same podcast that Trump “hasn’t done anything directly to black people, but his antics over the last three years have ignited so much ignorance.” According to Edward Champion’s blog on Dillard’s June 2020 encounter, Dillard also said in the interview, “I still think with my thing. I don’t think he has hurt small business and I don’t think he has directly affected black folks.”
In the wake of the Karen incident of June 2020, Dillard posted a photo of himself wearing a red baseball hat with the words, “Make America Gay Again” written on it. Dillard wrote in part in the caption, “Try again trolls.”
When asked by an Instagram follower to prove that he didn’t say Philando Castile “didn’t do enough to not get shot,” Dillard asked the user to, “Prove I said it.” In July 2016, Philando Castile was shot dead by officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in St. Anthony, Minnesota.
Dillard said in a January 2018 video that he had a concealed weapons license and that he occasionally carried his gun with him. In the same video, Dillard accuses a woman at an auto repair store of saying that he had threatened to shoot her.
The TrueAnon Pod reported Dillard had a restraining order filed against him by a woman in June 2019. In the restraining order, Dillard is ordered to not make any online statements about the petitioner.
5. Dillard Went Viral Earlier in June 2020 After He Blew Bubbles at Police Officers During a Black Lives Matter Rally
Earlier in June 2020, Dillard went viral after he was recorded blowing bubbles at police officers during a Black Lives Matter rally. Dillard wrote in an Instagram post about his experiences at the rally that his “job as a comedian” was to “shine light into the darkness of society.” Dillard added, “I was happy to bring smiles to the protestors as well as a few cops who couldn’t help but crack a smile at how ridiculous they look in riot gear surrounded by bubbles.”
In an interview with the Daily Hive, Dillard said, “My knees were literally shaking. I was terrified but I couldn’t help smiling at the sight of these huge policemen in riot gear with bubbles floating around them and landing on the gear and popping. It’s made me feel innocent again. Some officers couldn’t help but crack a smile and that made me feel safer.” Dillard ended the interview by saying that it was his hope “that eventually, the cops will blow bubbles with me!”