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Leaving Neverland Director Not Happy With Dave Chappelle’s Michael Jackson Jokes

September 15, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Dave Chappelle got a lot of laughs from the crowd by joking about the Michael Jackson molestation accusations, but the director of Leaving Neverland wasn’t amused. Dan Reed, who directed the two-part HBO special, said on the red carpet at the Creative Arts Emmys that Chappelle’s jokes didn’t do anything for him.

“I don’t think Dave Chappelle was very funny or clever to do what he did,” Reed said (per Deadline). “You know, mocking kids who were raped by famous people, its like: Is that funny?”

In Sticks & Stones, which is currently on Netflix, Chappelle said that he didn’t believe Michael Jackson’s accusers and called Leaving Neverland “really nasty s**t.” He added, “I don’t believe these motherf**kers … I don’t think he did it, but you know what? Even if he did do it… you know what I mean? 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 goddamn Michael Jackson, was it? This kid got his dick sucked by the King of Pop. All we get is awkward Thanksgivings for the rest of our lives.”

Reed added that the comments were “repulsive” and said, “Some people think it’s funny, but I don’t want this film to be positioned as part of the sort of ‘Cancel Culture.’” He told the outlet that nothing in the documentary suggested that Jackson needed to be “canceled” — aka, that people should boycott his music.

“[Jackson] has been dead a long time, his music’s out there,” he said. “There’s nothing in the film that says, ‘Don’t listen to Michael Jackson.’ There’s nothing in this film that says, ‘Cancel MJ.’ We’re not part of cancel culture.”