Bias Watch

Anti-trans comedian Dave Chappelle slammed for “disturbing” antisemitic monologue on SNL

Dave Chappelle, Netflix, transgender, employee walkout
Dave Chappelle Photo: Netflix screenshot

Anti-trans comedian Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, and instead of apologizing or even acknowledging the war he has waged on trans people, he used his monologue to make dangerous and inflammatory comments about Jewish people.

Despite anger over the fact that SNL invited Chappelle to host in the first place – with rumors that some of the writers boycotted the episode – the show went on. And Chappelle continued to use his platform to perpetuate dangerous stereotypes and defend hate.

Chappelle spent half of his opening monologue talking about Kanye West, who posted extremely antisemitic comments on social media and subsequently lost millions of dollars in sponsorship deals after companies who severed ties with him.

“It shouldn’t be this scary to talk about anything,” Chappelle said, defending West. “It’s making my job incredibly difficult and to be honest with you I’m getting sick of talking to a crowd like this.”

Throughout the monologue, Chappelle made light of antisemitism and perpetuated more dangerous stereotypes.

He opened by reading a statement he said he prepared to denounce antisemitism and declare that he stands with the Jewish people.

“And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time,” he said.

He said he has a lot of Jewish friends, “So I’m not freaked out by your culture” before mocking the Jewish holiday of Shabbat, calling it “sha na na.”

He also defended NBA star Kyrie Irving, who was suspended by the NBA for promoting an antisemitic film on social media and refusing to apologize for it.

Chappelle said Irving’s punishment is “where I draw the line.”

“I know the Jewish people have been through terrible things all over the world but you can’t blame that on Black Americans. You just can’t.”

To that, author Ben M. Freeman wrote on Twitter, “if a Black person is anti-Jewish (as you have been), then we will hold them responsible for the harm they’ve caused. Your Blackness does not preclude you from anti-Jewish racism. Stop allowing Jew-hate to fester.”

Chappelle also perpetuated stereotypes about Jews in Hollywood and said Kanye may be unwell but that he’s not wrong that Hollywood is “a lot of Jews. Like a lot.”

“I just feel if you go out to Hollywood you might connect some kind of lines and come under the delusion that the Jews run Hollywood. It’s not a crazy thing to think. But it’s a crazy thing to say out loud at a time like this,” he said. “You know the rules of perception: if they’re black then it’s a gang, if they’re Italian it’s a mob, but if they’re Jewish it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it.”

Meanwhile, the audience laughed along.

Some Twitter users defended Chappelle, but many skewered him for spreading this dangerous rhetoric.

Anti-defamation league CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called it “disturbing” that SNL would “not just normalize but popularize” antisemitism.

“Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?” Greenblatt wrote.

During the monologue, Chappelle also spoke about anti-trans Republican Senate candidate for Georgia, Herschel Walker, calling him “observably stupid.”

And yet both Walker and Chappelle have become known for their anti-trans beliefs.

Chappelle’s anti-trans reputation stems from his Netflix special The Closer – in which he announced he is a transgender exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) before launching into a derogatory diatribe about transgender women’s genitals.

Chappelle has continued to defend himself and complain about being “canceled,” all while continuing to book gigs and denigrate LGBTQ people.

“I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said,”  Chappelle told the audience in a recent live performance he posted. “My God, how could I not. You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. Well, it seems like I am the only one that can’t go to the office anymore.”

Chappelle also emphasized his refusal to change.

“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience,” he said, “but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”

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