Dave Chappelle has never shied away from sharing his opinions on any situation, which has gotten him into some hot water in the past. That's especially true in the aftermath of his latest Netflix stand-up special, Sticks & Stones.
No one was safe during the set, in which he said he doesn't believe Michael Jackson's accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who accused Jackson of sexual abuse in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. Robson has since responded to Chappelle, first to TMZ, and then through a statement from his lawyer, Vince Finaldi.
"He can say whatever he wants. It reveals him, not us," Robson told TMZ. "Although Mr. Chappelle is entitled to his opinions, however misinformed they may be, it’s unfortunate that he has chosen to use his platform to shame sexual abuse victims, and spread his ignorance of sexual abuse and the way it is perpetrated upon children, in an attempt to resurrect his career," Finaldi said in the statement.
Safechuk reached out to survivors in a separate sestatement.
"I'm heartbroken for all those children who look to see how they will be received when they finally find the courage to speak out about their sexual abuse," Safechuck said to TMZ. "I just want to reach out to other survivors and let them know that we can't let this type of behavior silence us. Together we are strong."
The joke that sparked their outrage came when Chappelle was critiquing "cancel culture." During his observation, Chappelle told the audience that he's a "victim blamer," and doesn't believe Robinson or Safechuck. He then said that if the assault did happen, they should take pride in the incident.
"I know it seems harsh, but somebody's gotta teach these kids. No such thing as a free trip to Hawaii," Chappelle joked.