Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend and could not escape controversy.
If you’ve been online in the last few days you may have read some of the backlash surrounding Chappelle’s SNL appearance, but otherwise, here’s why people are upset.
First of all, it’s important to note that the comedian’s hosting gig was shrouded in controversy even before he took the stage, with reports surfacing late last week suggesting a certain number of SNL the writers were furious that he was chosen to host.
“They won’t do the show,” an insider told Page Six last week, referring to a number of writers. A representative for Chapelle has since denied this, saying there was “no evidence of a boycott”.
The alleged disapproval was thought to center on Chappelle being criticized earlier this year for making anti-trans and anti-gay jokes on his Netflix special. The closest.
Nonetheless, the show went to plan, marking Chappelle’s third time as host.
As usual, he kicked off the show with a monologue. Spanning over 15 minutes – three times longer than the five-minute average – Chapelle’s lengthy opening tackled a number of timely issues – namely Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic comments.
“I wanted to read a statement that I had prepared,” he began. “I renounce anti-Semitism in all its forms and stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you save time.
Chappelle made a number of jokes about the Jewish community, at one point saying, “If they’re black, it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a crowd. But if they are Jewish, it’s a coincidence and you should never talk about it.
Later in the segment, he brought up an anti-Semitic trope about the number of Jews in Hollywood — rhetoric Ye has recently perpetuated — saying they “run” the media industry. When discussing this, Chappelle seemed not to condemn Ye’s comments, but simply to suggest that he shouldn’t have voiced them.
“I went to Hollywood…there are a lot of Jews. Like, a lot,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean anything. There are a lot of black people in Ferguson, Missouri. That doesn’t mean they run the place.
He added, “I can see that if you had some type of problem, you could go to Hollywood and start connecting some kind of lines and maybe you could embrace the illusion that Jews run show business. It’s not a crazy thing to think. But it’s a crazy thing to say out loud in a climate like this.
Shortly after the show aired, writer Adam Feldman was among the first to criticize the performance on Twittersuggesting that Chappelle’s comments “probably did more to normalize anti-Semitism than anything Kanye said”.
In response, fellow writer Mark Harris echoed the disapproval, saying it was not “brave or pissed off” for Chappelle to make jokes about the Jewish community, saying his approach might even appeal to anti-Semites.
Chappelle’s monologue even prompted a statement from Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who wrote on Twitter that it was “disturbing” to see SNL “normalize” anti-Semitic remarks.
“We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as a moral compass for society, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalizing but popularizing #antisemitism. Why are Jewish sensibilities being denied or diminished at almost every turn Why does our trauma trigger applause?” he wrote.
In the current state of things, neither SNL neither Chappelle officially addressed the backlash.
And now it looks like Chappelle may have gone out of his way to prevent series executives from ending his controversial monologue, with brand new reports claiming he changed it to an alternate performance during the show. general repetition.
According to Page Six, Chappelle chose to show a “fake” monologue during the dress race because he didn’t want to. SNL boss Lorne Michaels, or any other staff member, “to find out what his real monologue is”.
The insider didn’t go into detail, though the insight suggests that the first time one of the SNL the staff heard Chappelle’s real monologue was being broadcast live.
In addition to this, the SNL A source claimed Chappelle referenced the supposed writers’ boycott during the dress rehearsal, apparently joking about a specific staff member who objected to him being the host.
It reportedly “caused tensions to flare up” on set, although the joke did not make it into the live broadcast.
BuzzFeed News has contacted representatives to Saturday Night Live and Dave Chappelle for comments.