Dave Chappelle Slamming Michael Jackson Accusers on Netflix Special Sparks Mixed Reactions
Dave Chappelle is stirring up mixed reactions with a new Netflix special where he lashed out at the men accusing Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them as children.
Earlier this year, Wade Robson and James Safechuck both alleged in the HBO docu-series “Leaving Neverland” that the late King of Pop had a sexual relationship with them in their childhood.
The film sparked controversy and split viewers into two sides – those who believed Robson and Safechuck's claims and those who were certain Jackson, who died in 2009, is innocent.
Chappelle, 46, no doubt belongs to the latter group. In his Netflix stand-up special “Sticks & Stones,” the comedian takes on the prevalent celebrity cancel culture, using Jackson’s case to drive home provocative jokes.
CHAPPELLE'S TAKE ON "LEAVING NEVERLAND"
Chappelle reportedly described in graphic detail the allegations leveled against Jackson by Safechuck and Robson before declaring in some choice words that he doesn’t believe the accusers.
Agreeing that making such statements made him a “victim blamer,” Chappelle added that if anyone told him “Jackson was molesting children,” he would ask, "Well, what were those kids wearing at the time?"
He continued in Jackson’s defense:
“I don’t think he did it, but you know what? Even if he did do it. …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 [expletive] Michael Jackson, was it?”
“I know it seems harsh, but somebody’s gotta teach these kids,” Chappelle added. “No such thing as a free trip to Hawaii.”
Chappelle’s comments have both been criticized and applauded. Reacting to the comedy special, Robson told TMZ the controversial comic "can say whatever he wants. It reveals him, not us."
“I just want to reach out to other survivors and let them know that we can't let this type of behavior silence us. Together we are strong," Safechuck added.
He just doesn’t want it to be true. It’s called denial.— Dana K. (@Effey7410) August 27, 2019
A Twitter user also pointed out that Chappelle was only in denial:
“Multiple people don’t imagine sexual molestation by the same guy in the same manner. This attitude is why R. Kelly got away with it for so long. Chappelle doesn’t want to have to take ownership of the reality that a pedophile made music he likes.”
Dave Chappelle used to be really insightful about how power works; he’s tossed that insight aside to maintain the illusion that he and his buddies can do no wrong. it’s not the end of the world, and it’s certainly not rare, but it’s a little pathetic— Owen Ellickson (@onlxn) August 27, 2019
On the other hand, several Michael Jackson supporters, including the late singer’s estate, are praising Chappelle for saying it as it is and not mincing words.
“Thank you @DaveChappelle for defending #MichaelJackson,” one Jackson fan tweeted. “Not behind the curtains like some cowards are doing but to the media! We'll never forget it!”
“Of course Michael Jackson never abused the two [expletive] liars. I’ve known Dave Chapelle for almost 20 years and he’s a man of great integrity, respect, honesty and purity. Haters are going to hate.”
Dave Chappelle is right and ya'll shook coz you know he is right but you're all paid to say otherwise and you got a hand in lynching the dead black man.— Happy Cloud (@HappyCloud83) August 28, 2019
JACKSON'S ESTATE SPEAKS
In a statement obtained by TMZ, co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate John Branca confirmed that they “agree with Dave Chappelle” and reiterated that Robson and Safechuck are “liars.”
“The whole documentary is bogus,” Branca said of “Leaving Neverland.” “Robson and Safechuck are liars, and they know the truth, which is why Dave’s comedy touched a nerve.”
Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, “Sticks & Stones” is Chappelle’s third Netflix special. His first two were also widely criticized for their apparent homophobic and transphobic content.
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