“Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed, who took home a Creative Arts Emmy on Saturday for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, denounced comedian Dave Chappelle’s jokes about Michael Jackson’s accusers, calling them sickening.
“Chappelle is riding on a wave of being contrarian, being controversial, and think this, to me, was revolting,” he said during an interview backstage after the awards ceremony. “I felt physically sick listening to what he was saying.”
In Chappelle’s stand-up special, “Sticks and Stones,” which made its Netflix debut this month, he refers to those who accused the late pop star of molestation as “motherfuckers,” stating, “I do not believe them.”
The remarks elicited cheers and applause from his audience.
Continuing, Chappelle shrugged his shoulders when acknowledging that the sexual assault allegations could be true, adding, “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?”
Though the crowd laughed, Reed, whose documentary shed light on the stories of two men who claim to have been assaulted by Jackson as children, didn’t find it humorous.
“You can make comedy out of so many other things,” he said. “Why not do something brave instead of crapping on some victim of child rape?”
Chappelle’s latest routine has faced backlash for its tone-deaf and racist jokes, some of which targeted women, Asians and the LGBTQ community.