In his new Netflix special “Sticks & Stones” released Monday, comedian Dave Chappelle slammed HBO’s documentary on alleged sexual abuse by Michael Jackson, said he didn’t believe Jackson’s accusers, and joked that even if Jackson did rape young boys, they were probably proud to go to school the next day having been molested by a megastar.
Chappelle’s comments came during a segment of his new stand-up comedy special focused on “celebrity hunting season,” an era he described as “the worst time ever to be a celebrity.”
In comments reported by The Hollywood Reporter, among other entertainment outlets, Chappelle warned his fellow celebrities that in the current “cancel culture” they’re all “doomed.”
“This is the worst time ever to be a celebrity,” he said. “You’re gonna be finished. Everyone’s doomed. Michael Jackson has been dead for 10 years, and this n**** has two new cases.”
HBO’s “Leaving Neverland,” he said, is “f***ing gross” and “really nasty sh**.” Though he at first expresses reluctance to admit it, Chappelle declares that he believes Jackson’s accusers — who say the star raped them when they were just 7 and 10 years old — are lying, then jokes that even if Jackson did do it, his victims should feel special to have been sexually abused by the world-famous celebrity.
“I don’t think he did it, but you know what? Even if he did do it … you know what I mean?” Chappelle said suggestively, pausing for effect.
As THR notes, the audience responded by erupting in laughter.
“I mean, it’s Michael Jackson,” he continued. “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? This kid got his d*** sucked by the King of Pop. All we get is awkward Thanksgivings for the rest of our lives. You know how good it must have felt to go to school the next day after that sh**?”
Why does the comedian not believe the accusers? Chappelle explained that it’s because troubled child actor Macaulay Culkin hasn’t come forward. “I’m not a pedophile, but if I was, Macaulay Culkin’s the first kid I’m f***ing — I’ll tell you that right now,” he said.
(For a detailed account of the sexual abuse allegations against Jackson, which span decades and involve multiple accusers, read The New York Times’ summary here.)
Chappelle went on to suggest that while he doesn’t believe Jackson’s accusers, he does believe the accusations against R. Kelly are true. He also denied stories about his reasons for turning down an appearance on Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly,” explaining that he really didn’t go on because he doesn’t know the guy.
Another superstar that has fallen victim to “celebrity hunting season,” he said, was fellow comedian Kevin Hart, who he praised as “damn near perfect,” or, at least “four tweets shy of being perfect.”
Shortly after being named the host of the Oscars, one of his self-described life-long dreams, Hart stepped down amid pressure from the Academy to apologize again for past tweets deemed offensive to the LGBT community.
Chappelle also referenced Louis C.K., who admitted to and apologized for masturbating in front of unconsenting women, and whom Chappelle described as “a very good friend of mine before he died in that terrible masturbation accident,” as noted by The Daily Beast.