‘SNL’ Monologue From Dave Chappelle Drawing Claims of Antisemitism

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
Photo Credit: Brian Stukes/WireImage

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League tweeted concerns about the opening SNL monologue from special host Dave Chappelle.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of Jewish civil rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League, wasn’t here for Dave Chappelle‘s opening Saturday Night Live monologue. As special host for the long-running sketch comedy show, Chappelle opened with remarks on Ye and Kyrie Irving, who have recently been disgraced for their controversial statements about Jewish people.

Greenblatt called out Chappelle’s 10-minute monologue, tweeting that it was “disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize #antisemitism.”

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

At the start of the monologue, Chappelle unfolded a piece of paper and read from it, saying, “‘I denounce antisemitism in all its forms. And I stand with my friends in the Jewish community.’ And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”

Chappelle then added that during his time as a comedian, he’s learned there are “two words in the English language that you should never say together in sequence: ‘The’ and ‘Jews.’”

“I’ve been to Hollywood and — no one get mad at me — I’m just telling you what I saw,” he said. “It’s a lot of Jews. Like a lot. But that doesn’t mean anything! You know what I mean? Because there are a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, it doesn’t mean we run the place.”

He continued that “delusion that Jews run show business” is “not a crazy thing to think,” but “it’s a crazy thing to say out loud.” He also said of West, “It’s a big deal, he had broken the show business rules. You know, the rules of perception. If they’re Black, then it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a mob. If they’re Jewish, it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it.”

Chappelle, who appeared on SNL with hip-hop duo and The Midnight Miracle co-hosts Black Star, consisting of Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli, was boycotted by some staff writers of the late-night comedy showcase. Before his alleged antisemitic opening monologue, writers citied Chappelle’s history of transphobic and homophobic jokes as reason for not supporting the episode, which aired November 12.

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