Lakeith Stanfield Responds to Backlash from Moderating Anti-Semitic Clubhouse Room

“I definitely don’t align myself with Louis Farrakhan, I don’t stand by him.”

Earlier this month, Lakeith Stanfield has held to account for his participation in a Clubhouse room centered on the teachings of Louis Farrakhan and anti-semitic conspiracy theories.

Detailed in a recent report from The Daily Beast, the room, titled “Someone Ended the Room About Farrakhan,” was created after another conversation on the platform was quickly overrun with hate speech towards Jews. Though Stanfield himself was not accused of being anti-semitic or saying anything particularly hateful, the actor did reportedly serve as a moderator in the discussion for hours. The room was described as “extremely troubling” by Ari Inger, director of Creative Community for Peace. “[The room had] an extremely disturbing amount of anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories,” Inger added.

In a follow-up to the initial piece, Stanfield spoke with The Daily Beast about his presence in the room and how an interest in Farrakhan, who he admitted to know very little of, had brought him to the Clubhouse discussion. “I was curious to kind of educate myself more on the topic,” Stanfield told the publication. “Me going into the room, it was more about trying to uncover more information about these things that he said or didn’t say, because I wasn’t quite clear on it,” Stanfield explained. The actor went on to distance himself from the controversial Nation of Islam leader.”I definitely don’t align myself with Louis Farrakhan, I don’t stand by him,” Stanfield clarified. “Any kind of hate speech, I vehemently reject. That’s not up for debate, hate is not up for debate,” the actor noted.

According to Indiewire, Stanfield previously issued an apology on Instagram for his role in the conversation, but deleted the post not long after. “Yesterday I entered an online chat room on Clubhouse about the teachings of Louis Farrakhan. When the room’s participants noticed me, I was quickly made a moderator of this room,” Stanfield wrote. “At some point during the dialogue the discussion took a very negative turn when several users made abhorrent anti-Semitic statements and at that point, I should have either shut down the discussion or removed myself from it entirely,” the Atlanta star atoned.

During his interview with The Daily Beast, Stanfield was also asked to explain a music video for a song he released in 2013. Titled “Swastikas and Bones,” the video features the actor with the Nazi symbol digitally etched into his forehead. “I actually forgot about it,” Stanfield claims. “It was stupid and that was dumb. That was a terrible mistake for me to even try and use it, even to try to get across a point that had nothing to do really with hatred. So, I’d never do that again. I’d never use that symbol again,” the actor added.

Lakeith Stanfield is currently in London filming the third and fourth seasons of the hit FX series, Atlanta. He also recently voiced the title character in the Netflix original anime series, Yasuke.



Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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