Pete Davidson Tackles Michael Jackson, R. Kelly Allegations on SNL: “Talented People Are Sick”
Pete Davidson elicited some boos and gasps from the Saturday Night Live audience on the Idris Elba guest-hosted episode, when he devoted a “Weekend Update” segment to musicians recently accused of sexual misconduct, R. Kelly and Michael Jackson.
“Before I continue like this, [R. Kelly] is a monster and he should go to jail forever. But if you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that like the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?” Davidson asked, as some audience members booed.
The SNL cast member then argued that people are only upset about the latest allegations against Jackson and Kelly — allegations of child sex abuse resurfaced with regard to the former with the recent release of the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, while Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly resurfaced abuse and misconduct claims against Kelly — because they are good musicians. “If I found out Macklemore did some stuff, I’d be happy to free up the space on my iPhone,” he joked.
Davidson then continued, “Once we start doing our research, we’re not going to have [anyone] left. Because it seems like all really talented people are sick.”
He proposed a rule: Every time a person consumes the work of an individual who is alleged to have committed misconduct, that person should admit that the artist is “a bad person.”
“The rule should be that you can appreciate their work, but only if you admit what they did. 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 need to ever 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,” he explained.
He also proposed that people should donate a dollar to charity every time they listen to the music of an accused person. He then joked that he had already donated $142 for having replayed Kelly’s “Ignition” that many times.
Davidson’s segment came after “Weekend Update” host Michael Che elicited gasps with his own Michael Jackson joke: “They said HBO’s doc did more damage to Michael Jackson than his last Doc, Dr. [Conrad Robert] Murray,” he said. Responding to the audience, he said, “Okay, but whose side did you take?”
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.