Dave Chappelle speaks at the press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Picture: AP
Dave Chappelle speaks at the press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Picture: AP

'Leaving Neverland' director blasts Dave Chappelle over Jackson jokes

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Sep 17, 2019

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"Leaving Neverland" director Dan Reed says watching comedian Dave Chappelle's make jokes about James Safechuck and Wade Robson's accusations that Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children made him feel "physically sick".

The British filmmaker - who won the Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special for his documentary last Saturday - has blasted Chappelle for mocking accusers James Safechuck and Wade Robson and for stating that he doesn't believe their accusations against the late King of Pop in his Netflix stand-up special 'Sticks and Stones'.

Accusing Chappelle of just trying to be controversial to boost his own career, Reed said at the Emmys: "Chappelle is riding on a wave of being contrarian, being controversial, and this, to me, was revolting. I felt physically sick listening to what he was saying ... You can make comedy out of so many other things. Why not do something brave instead of crapping on some victim of child rape?"

In his "Sticks and Stones" routine Chappelle, referring to Safechuck and Robson, says: "I don't believe these motherf**kers."

Chappelle then went to joke if their claims were true then they should have known that Michael wouldn't have lavished them with his time and gifts unless he was getting something in return.

He concluded his Jackson gags by joking about the "Thriller" hitmaker's friendship with 'Home Alone' actor Macaulay Culkin, who has always maintained that he shared a long and wonderful friendship with Michael and that nothing sexual ever occurred between them.

Chappelle quipped said: "You know ... I'm not a paedophile. But if I was ... Macaulay Culkin's the first kid I'm f***ing, I'll tell you that right now. I'd be a goddamn hero. 'Hey, that guy over there f***ed the kid from 'Home Alone'. And you know hard he is to catch.' "

Safechuck and Robson claimed in two-part HBO film that they were abused by Michael at his Neverland ranch and on tour with him after they were befriended by the pop superstar as children.

Wade alleged he was sexually abused by Michael from the age of seven until 14, while James claimed he was a victim from the age of 10 until he hit puberty.

The pair's allegations have been categorically denied by the Michael Jackson Estate since the film was released in March.

In the wake of Reed's Emmy win, the estate has branded the decision to recognise the documentary a "complete farce".

A statement read: "For a film that is a complete fiction to be honoured in a non-fiction Emmy category is a complete farce."

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