Within the first 20 minutes of his new comedy special, Sticks & Stones, Dave Chappelle attacked “cancel culture,” referencing a slew of controversies that included celebrities like R. Kelly, Kevin Hart, and Michael Jackson. He described 2019 as “celebrity hunting season.”
“This is the worst time ever to be a celebrity,” Chappelle said. “You’re gonna be finished. Everyone’s doomed. Michael Jackson has been dead for 10 years, and this n— has two new cases.”
Chappelle followed up his comments by warning audience members about HBO’s Leaving Neverland, a documentary that described child abuse allegations made against Michael Jackson. “Don’t watch it,” Chappelle addressed anyone who had not seen the special. “It’s f–––ing gross.”
This transitioned the comedian into controversial statements that made his thoughts on the King of Pop abundantly clear. “I don’t think he did it, but you know what? Even if he did do it … you know what I mean?” Chappelle paused to make room for the audience’s laughter. “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 godd––n Michael Jackson, was it?”
Chappelle further dismissed the allegations against Michael Jackson before insinuating that if the accusations were true, they didn’t warrant public outcry. “You know how good it must have felt to go to school the next day after that sh––?” he said before circling back to his doubt in Leaving Neverland.
The comedian explained to the audience that the allegations could not be true, as Macaulay Culkin never came forward describing any molestation by Jackson. “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,” Chappelle said.
Chappelle did not end with Jackson. He extended his monologue to R. Kelly, who he said was “different” from Jackson in that Chappelle is “pretty sure [R. Kelly] did it.”
Chappelle also addressed the fact that he was offered a chance to appear on Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly. The comedian explained that he did not appear on the special because he did not know R. Kelly “at all.”
“This guy makes more sex tape than he does music. He’s like the DJ Khaled of sex tapes. Another one!” he joked, referencing DJ Khaled’s signature phrase.
The comedian’s explanation of why he did not appear on Surviving R. Kelly goes against the executive producer Dream Hampton’s statement that cited Chappelle’s belief that the project was “too hot for TV” as the reason for his lack of involvement.
“I did not say that,” Chappelle said. “That does not even sound like I talk.”
Lastly, the comic spoke to the Oscar controversy that left Kevin Hart unable to host the award show. He defended “poor Kevin Hart,” speaking to the comedian’s character and acknowledging Hart’s “dream to host the Oscars.” “I don’t know what you know about Kevin, but I know that Kevin Hart is damn-near perfect,” said the comic. “As close to perfect as anybody I’ve ever seen. In fact, Kevin is precisely four tweets shy of being perfect.”
Sticks & Stones is now available to stream on Netflix.