Culture

‘SNL’ Monologue From Dave Chappelle Drawing Claims of Antisemitism

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.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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