Dave Chappelle continues to court controversy in his Netflix comedy specials, using his latest to take aim at Michael Jackson’s accusers, the #MeToo movement, transgender people, and more.
In Sticks & Stones, which was released on Monday, the 46-year-old comedian didn’t waste any time hitting the hot topics, diving right into the “f—ing gross” HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which featured Wade Robson and James Safechuck accusing Jackson of sexual assaulting them as children. “I do not believe these motherf—ers,” Chappelle admitted to cheers from the audience. After adding that he’s a “victim blamer,” he declared, “Even if he did it…I mean, it’s Michael Jackson. I know more than half of 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…I know it seems harsh but man someone’s got to teach these kids there’s no such thing as a free trip to Hawaii. He’s going to want to look at your butthole or something.” He then went on to argue that Robson and Safechuck must by lying since Macaulay Culkin has repeatedly said the musician never assaulted him. “I’m not a pedophile, but, if I was, Macaulay Culkin is the first kid I’m f—ing,” joked Chappelle.
The discussion on Jackson served as a transition to R. Kelly, who was arrested earlier this year on sexual assault charges. “R. Kelly is different,” said Chappelle. “If I’m a betting man, I’m probably putting my money on he did that s—.” He then revealed that he didn’t participate in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary because “I don’t know this n—– at all. I don’t know anything.”
Throughout the special, Chappelle railed against cancel culture, which he deemed to be “celebrity hunting season.” “I’m goddamn sick of it,” he declared. “I can’t live in this new world that you’re proposing.” He proceeded to defend fellow comedians Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart. With C.K., Chappelle argued that he didn’t hurt anyone with his sexual misconduct.
“I’m sorry, ladies, I’ve just got a f—ing #MeToo headache,” he said. “It’s really f—ing tough to watch what’s going on. Ladies, I said it in my last special, and I got in a lot of trouble for this, I told you you were right, but the way you’re going about it is not going to work. But I’m biased, I said it. Louis C.K. was a very good friend of mine before he died in that terrible masturbation accident…He didn’t do anything you can call the police for. I dare you to try….They ruined this n—-’s life, and now he’s coming back playing comedy clubs and they’re acting like if he’s able to do that that’s going to hurt women. What the f— is your agenda, ladies?”
When it came to “poor Kevin Hart,” Chappelle used the controversy surrounding Hart’s homophobic tweets and the Jumanji star subsequently stepping down as the host of the Oscars as a way into responding to the criticism he took for his previous jokes about transgender people. Chappelle says he and Hart broke the “unwritten and unspoken rule of show business” that “no matter what you do in your artistic expression, you are never, ever allowed to upset the alphabet people,” referring to the LGBTQIA+ community. “I don’t know what you know about Kevin, but I know that Kevin Hart is damn-near perfect,” said Chappelle. “As close to perfect as anybody I’ve ever seen. In fact, Kevin is precisely four tweets shy of being perfect.”
Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones is now streaming on Netflix.