Comedian Katt Williams said he pushed for a rape scene to be cut from the 2002 movie “Friday After Next,” his film debut.
“Rape is never funny,” Williams said, explaining his decision in an episode of the “Club Shay Shay” podcast, hosted by former NFL star Shannon Sharpe, that was posted Wednesday.
In the sequel to the hit comedy “Friday,” starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps, Williams played a pimp named Money Mike.
“Money Mike, in the original script, got raped in the bathroom,” he said. “The problem with ‘Friday After Next’ is we’re trying to make a classic comedy, and this comedy involves a rape, and rape is never funny no matter who it happens to or what the circumstances are.”
“If you would allow me, allow us to do this movie without a Black man getting raped in it, I promise you it will be twice as funny,” he said he told the filmmakers.
It was a bold move for Williams, who admitted he had no sway with the Hollywood bigwigs at the time.
“Katt Williams had to take the risk in front of the studios and the cast and the powers that be, in his very first movie, and say, ‘Respectfully, humbly, guys,'” Williams said. “If we’re talking about anything else, I have no credibility and I have no pull, but we’re talking about comedy, where I have all the credibility and all the pull.”
Williams shared the revelation as he was clearing up comments another comedian, Rickey Smiley, who played robber Santa Claus in “Friday After Next,” made on the “Pierre’s Panic Room” podcast in 2022, claiming he was originally supposed to play Money Mike.
“A lot of things people don’t know, I was supposed to be the pimp and Katt Williams was supposed to be the Santa Claus,” Smiley said on that podcast. “That’s what I auditioned for. I auditioned to be the pimp. And then Katt Williams was going to be Santa Claus and then somebody and Ice Cube decided to switch it up. I didn’t give a damn; I was just happy to be in it.”
Williams disputed Smiley’s account, saying on the Wednesday episode of “Club Shay Shay”: “I can tell you this, we auditioned in Los Angeles. I was audition No. 201. Two hundred Black comedians auditioned for the role of Money Mike with me.”
“[Smiley] told everybody it should have been my role, everybody on the scene,” Williams said. “So considering that’s the real story, why would you bring up that story? Thirty-five members of the cast have never brought up that Rickey Smiley was going to play Money Mike.”