Documentaries containing detailed sex abuse allegations against R. Kelly and Michael Jackson have shaken the foundations of the music industry, and last weekend's Saturday Night Live addressed the fallout in a "Weekend Update" segment featuring Pete Davidson.
Davidson began his segment saying he believed the allegations against Kelly, who is facing ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault against four victims between 1998 and 2010. "This guy is a monster, and he should go to jail forever," Davidson said. He then went on to compare Kelly's diehard fandom to the Catholic Church, an institution which continues to faces allegations of systemic child abuse. “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.”
His monologue riffed on the difficulties in canceling figures as important to the culture as Kelly and Jackson, and offered an amusing fix:
“Pretending these people never existed is maybe not the solution. The rule should be…you could appreciate their work, but you 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 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.”
R. Kelly was released from jail this weekend after an associate paid the $161,000 in unpaid child support he owed his ex-wife Andrea Lee. On Monday, a Pennsylvania man announced he had given police a video he believed contains footage of R. Kelly assaulting girls.