Dave Chappelle's new stand-up special features a controversial take on the allegations against Michael Jackson. The comedian has a penchant for topical humor with a cynical twist, but for many people this one was finally over the line.
Chappelle is back with a new stand-up special on Netflix. The 46-year-old comedian tackled the new HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, where two accusers make their cases against Jackson. In his snarky way, Chappelle explained why he continues to believe that Jackson is innocent of any sexual abuse.
“I don’t believe those motherf—ers,” Chappelle declared. “Don’t watch it... it’s f—ing gross... really nasty s—.”
Chappelle showed a complete knowledge of the documentary, which stars James Safechuck and Wade Robson. He discussed the details of their accusations, but also disputed their claims. The whole rant was dangerous territory, as it could be read as offensive to victims of sexual violence in general.
“I don’t think he did it, but you know what? Even if he did do it... you know what I mean?” he said, pausing wordlessly as the audience laughed. “I mean, it’s Michael Jackson. I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives, but it wasn’t no goddamn Michael Jackson, was it?”
Naturally it was not long before Chappelle's words sparked outrage online. Many people felt that Chappelle was invalidating accounts of sexual assault and child molestation in general.
"Chappelle started crying and flew to South Africa cus a white man laughed at (him and not with him) his pixie sketch and then comes back and just makes rape jokes and queerphobic comments and calls it a special," one person observed. "And y’all cool with it cus he understand how racism work."
Robson and Safechuck were far from Chappelle's only targets in the new special, which many felt went out of its way to offend every social group. In another segment, Chapelle took on another documentary about sexual abuse -- Surviving R. Kelly. In this case, Chappelle said that he's "pretty sure" Kelly did do the things he is accused of, adding that he was actually asked to appear in the documentary.0comments
Chappelle was mentioned in the docu-series thanks to his infamous sketch about Kelly on his Comedy Central show. However, he said that he did not want to speak out of turn in the documentary since he did not know Kelly personally "at all."
Chappelle's new special, Sticks & Stones, is streaming now on Netflix.