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Jerrod Carmichael Says “Slave Play” Joke Was Taken Out of Context: “It Has Nothing to Do With Sex”

Jerrod Carmichael is addressing criticism he’s received over a race play joke made in his new HBO series.

via: EW

During his Tuesday The Breakfast Club appearance, the comedian confronted cohost Charlamagne The God, who last week named him "donkey of the day" after Carmichael stirred controversy with a viral clip from his Max series, Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show, which some criticized as being about "slave play."

“You played a clip of my stand up, but it started at the punchline, and it like completely erased the setup of it,” scolded Carmichael, who said he was a fan of the show and friend of Charlamagne's. "I really don't like that. It made it seem like I was talking like I'm into some type of race sexual slavery role play with my boyfriend, which is untrue."

He added, "It's so false, and I expect that type of thing from TMZ, ‘cause they have no humanity. They don't care about the people that get hurt when they report these sort of things. But you’re a friend, so I really didn't like that.”

The scene in question sees the comedian telling joking about his relationship during a standup gig, where he said, "My boyfriend, he makes me smarter, he makes me read. I have so many books. Realistically I’m not gonna read all those books. He knows that. But the fact that I bought them says I love you. They’re little monuments around my apartment just like ‘look at this book from Amazon that I’m never gonna read.’"

He then told the crowd, "I sometimes joke to him that our relationship is like that of a slave and a master’s son — who, like, teaches me how to read by candlelight."

The joke earned an unhappy reaction from the audience, which Carmichael was quick to acknowledge.

“Yeah, he groans too ’cause he’s a good person,” he said. “He doesn’t like that f---ing joke. I like that joke. That’s my burden, I think that s---'s hilarious!’

Charlamagne clarified that when he played the clip, it was the only part of the episode he had seen — but Carmichael didn’t let him off the hook.

“Yeah, but I need you to watch the show! And anybody who watches the show knows it's not what I said,” the comedian continued. “It’s so false, it's so untrue, and I don't like that because it's like… it has nothing to do with my boyfriend. It has nothing [to do with] the sex that we have. It has nothing to do with sex. It's something that people have been reporting on and I really really don't like it.”

Carmichael explained that in context, the joke is "about my boyfriend reading so much that he makes me feel insecure about my level of reading."

After the episode’s premiere, the clip went viral on social media — circulating on X and TikTok — with several users criticizing the controversial concept of “slave play" and debating whether the reality show makes Carmichael “a danger to the Black Queer community.”

Responding to the backlash, Carmichael told The Breakfast Club: “Look, I get it. It's something that people have been running with because I have a white boyfriend, so like people try and create some type of crazy story out of that. And it's a small group of people. I read all the tweets and it's like, some gay Black men and some Klu Klux Klan members who don't like that I have a white boyfriend. They agree on that, so congratulations.”

He continued, “But he's a human being. He deserves respect. I deserve respect. I don't appreciate things being misreported… I'm a human being and people can get hurt. They're actually real lives at stake with the things that you say. Come after me, that's fine, but don't come after like my boyfriend.”

Can someone please take this shucking and jiving clown out back and put him out of our misery?

I cannot stand when people who think they are highly intelligent try to insult your intelligence.

The more he opens his mouth, the worse he sounds. Own the fact that number one, the joke is not funny, and regardless of where Charlamagne started the joke, anything about race play (which is clearly what this is no matter how you slice it - isn't funny).

This coon is a danger to real black queer men making a name for themselves out here in the world, and who are trying to uplift their community instead of bashing it for the white gaze.

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