'Leaving Neverland' Director Says Dave Chappelle's MJ Jokes Are 'Revolting'

"Why not do something brave instead of crapping on a victim of child rape?"
September 15, 2019, 2:16pm
Dan Reed
Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage

On Saturday, HBO's harrowing Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, was awarded a Creative Arts Emmy for Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Special. After the win, the film's director Dan Reed took a moment backstage to finally respond to Dave Chappelle's recent jokes about Jackson's accusers—and called them "completely revolting," The Wrap reports.

Chappelle's latest Netflix special, Sticks & Stones, contains a bit where the comedian shrugs off the molestation accusations against Jackson, saying he doesn't believe them, but even if he did, he joked that the abuse was a, uh, learning opportunity. "No such thing as a free trip to Hawaii," Chappelle said. "He’s going to want to look at your butthole or something."

Reed says he felt "physically sick" when he first heard Chappelle's comments.

"I don’t think Dave Chappelle was very funny or clever to do what he did," Reed said, according to Deadline. "You know, mocking kids who were raped by famous people, it's like: Is that funny?"

"Some people think it’s funny, but I don’t want this film to be positioned as part of the sort of 'Cancel Culture,'" Reed went on. "[Michael Jackson] has been dead a long time, his music’s out there. There's nothing in the film that says, 'Don’t listen to Michael Jackson.' There’s nothing in this film that says, ‘Cancel MJ.'"