Note: This article contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault and sexual abuse involving minors that some readers may find disturbing.
Dave Chappelle discusses the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland in his new Netflix special Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones. “I don’t believe these motherfuckers,” Chappelle says, referring to Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the men who allege that Jackson abused them when they were children. “I do not believe them.” Chappelle continues:
I don’t think he did it. But you know what? Even if he did do it.... You know what I mean? You know what I mean? Eh... 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? This kid got his dick sucked by the King of Pop. All we get is awkward Thanksgivings for the rest of our lives.
Chappelle also claims that he doesn’t believe Robson and Safechuck because Macaulay Culkin, who spent time at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch as a child, testified at Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial that he was not abused by Jackson and did not witness Jackson abuse anyone else. Chappelle says:
You know why I don’t believe it? You know why I don’t believe it? Because if Michael Jackson’s out here doing all this molesting, then—then why not Macaulay Culkin? Hmm? Macaulay Culkin stated in an interview that Michael Jackson never did anything inappropriate with him or even around him. Think about that shit. You know... I’m not a pedophile. But if I was... Macaulay Culkin’s the first kid I’m fucking, I’ll tell you that right now. I’d be a goddamn hero.
“Hey, that guy over there fucked the kid from Home Alone. And you know hard he is to catch.”
Wade Robson and James Safechuck have responded to Dave Chappelle, according to TMZ. “He can say whatever he wants,” Robson told TMZ. “It reveals him, not us.” In addition, Robson’s lawyer Vince Finaldi reportedly said, “Although Mr. Chappelle is entitled to his opinions, however misinformed they may be, it’s unfortunate that he has chosen to use his platform to shame sexual abuse victims, and spread his ignorance of sexual abuse and the way it is perpetrated upon children, in an attempt to resurrect his career.”
Safechuck told TMZ, “I’m heartbroken for all those children who look to see how they will be received when they finally find the courage to speak out about their sexual abuse. 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.”
Later in Sticks & Stones, Dave Chappelle discusses R. Kelly and dream hampton’s docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” He claims that hampton asked him to be in the documentary and that he declined. “And when it comes out, dream’s promotin’ shit and she keeps bringing me up,” he says. “She said, ‘I asked Dave Chappelle to be in my documentary, and he said it was too hot for TV.’ Bitch, I did not say that. That does not even sound like how I talk.”
(In an interview with the Detroit Free Press earlier this year, dream hampton said simply, “We asked Dave Chappelle.” She also told Shadow and Act, “I asked JAY-Z, I asked Mary J. Blige, I asked Lil’ Kim, Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle....”)
Chappelle added, “The only reason that I didn’t do it was because, and this is very important... I don’t know this n---a at all! I don’t know anything! I don’t know anything that they don’t tell me about. I don’t hang out with this n---a. Nothing. So what the fuck do I got to be in the documentary for?”
Dream hampton responded to Dave Chappelle on Twitter. “Quick fact check: I didn’t personally (or casually) invite Chappelle to be interviewed for the doc,” she tweeted. “The producer responsible for celeb outreach officially asked him, more than once. I haven’t seen or talked to him in about 8 years. Weird he told his joke that way.”
She also wrote, “I also, obviously, didn’t need Chapelle to talk about R. Kelly personally. I wanted him to talk about the two pieces of cultural criticism he produced about R. Kelly for the Chapelle show,” referring to Chappelle’s “Piss on You” and “Celebrity Trial Jury Selection” sketches. In addition, hampton tweeted, “I also have never in my life said the words ‘too hot for tv,’ because, Bitch, that’s not how I sound.”
Discussing R. Kelly’s alleged crimes, Chappelle says in the Netflix special, “I mean, you know, if I’m a bettin’ man, I’m gonna put my money on ‘He probably did that shit.’ I’m pretty sure he did that shit.”
Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Dave Chappelle and Netflix for comment.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence and need to talk, we recommend these resources:
Crisis Text Line
https://www.facebook.com/crisistextline (chat support)
SMS: Text “HERE” to 741-741
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork