How to deal with Michael Jackson in the wake of “Leaving Neverland”? Pete Davidson, of all people, has some advice that also extends to R. Kelly: “You just have to admit they’re bad people.” He said as much on “Saturday Night Live” last night during his regular “Weekend Update” check-in, weighing in on the allegations against both musicians that, while not new, have recently come to the fore once again.
“I’m not saying it’s an easy decision, I’m just saying you don’t know how good someone’s music really is until you find out they’re a pedophile,” Davidson said. “And the reason everybody’s so upset is because R. Kelly and Michael Jackson made great music. If I found out Macklemore did some stuff, I’d be happy to free up the space on my iPhone.”
“Leaving Neverland,” which premiered at Sundance and aired last weekend on HBO, features in-depth allegations from two men who say they were sexually abused by Jackson as children. Many radio stations have since pulled the pop megastar’s songs from circulation, ditto “The Simpsons” and an episode featuring him.
After referring to Kelly as a “monster” who “should go to jail forever,” Davidson pivoted to his next point: “If you support the Catholic church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan? I don’t really see the difference — only one’s music is significantly better…once we start doing our research we’re not going to have much left because it seems like all really talented people are sick.”
“Pretending these people never existed is maybe not the solution. The rule should be…you could appreciate their work, but only if you admit what they did,” he said. “You can buy a Mustang, but you have to say, ‘Henry Ford hated the Jews’ as you buckle in. The full sentence should be ‘Mark Wahlberg beat up an old Asian dude, and I would like one ticket to “Daddy’s Home 3,″ please.’ Because if it’s that important to you, at least own it. I don’t ever need to see a Kevin Spacey movie again, but if the CEO of Swisher Sweets turns out to be a cannibal, I can’t just change my whole life.”
And here’s another thought: “Any time any of us listen to a song or watch a movie made by an accused serial predator, you have to donate a dollar to a charity that helps sexual-assault survivors.”