Comedian Jerrod Carmichael has announced that he is gay.
The 34-year-old stand-up comes out during his special Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel, premiering on HBO April 1.
In the special, directed by Bo Burnham, Carmichael addresses his father's infidelity as a conduit for discussing his own sexuality. Once the facts about his father were made known, the comedian says he felt burdened.
"I was left alone feeling like a liar because I had a secret—one that I kept from my mother and my father, my family, my friends and you, all of you," he told the audience, "and the secret is that I'm gay."
The crowd at New York City's Blue Note Jazz Club applauded Carmichael's announcement, as the comedian remained brutally honest about his journey.
"My ego wants to rebel against it," he says. "I rebelled against it my whole life. I never thought I'd come out. I didn't think I'd ever, ever come out. At many points I thought I'd rather die than confront the truth of that, to actually say it to people. Because I know it changes some people's perceptions of me. I can't control that. I'm from an environment where you're kind of raised to be a man, whatever that means."
In his 2019 special Home Videos, Carmichael told his mother that he had "hooked up with dudes before," but that was the extent of the conversation.
Carmichael, who starred in NBC's The Carmichael Show from 2015-2017, has long been heralded as one of the most influential and exciting voices in stand-up comedy. After the release of the HBO special, Carmichael will host the April 2 episode of Saturday Night Live.
Support for the star has flooded in on social media, including from Orange Is The New Black star Danielle Brooks, who tweeted: "Shout out to this beautiful black man for unapologetically living in his truth! Much love to you. #jerrodcarmichael"
Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel premieres April 1 at 9 p.m. on HBO.