Dave Chappelle’s ‘SNL’ Monologue criticized for being anti-semitic
The national director of the Anti-Defamation League is among several who have condemned Dave Chappelle’s 15-minute opening monologue on Saturday Night Live this weekend for allegedly promoting antisemitism.
The leader of the Jewish civil rights organisation, Jonathan Greenblatt, took to Twitter on Sunday to discuss Chappelle’s monologue, in which he addressed West’s anti-Semitic remarks, with his followers.
“We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize #antisemitism,” he posted. “Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?”
Others chimed in as well, voicing worry and offering their own takes on Chappelle’s monologue. Influential Rabbi Josh Yuter summarised the monologue’s main idea, writing, “there are double standards regarding who can say what about whom.”
The Forward, a nonprofit organisation, has already brought up additional criticism; the Jerusalem Post has termed it “engaging in antisemitic tropes,” while Adam Feldman of Time Out New York has said the opener “probably did more to normalise anti-Semitism than anything Kanye said.”
NPR TV critic Eric Deggans tweeted that the monologue “severely disappointed” him in his assessment of the show.
“What I do know, is that one of comedy’s boldest and most incisive voices had a chance to lend insight to the long struggle Black America has had with antisemitism. But instead, his monologue seemed filled with justification and minimization — failing to mention, for instance, allegations that Ye has expressed admiration for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler,” he further explained
Chappelle, 49, introduced his act by reading from a folded piece of paper that read: “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.” After that, he promised to reach out to West, during controversial events, but he didn’t do so this time. Last month, West said he wanted to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” in now-deleted social media posts before continuing to spread antisemitic language in a series of podcast and television appearances.
In his stand-up routine, Chappelle proclaimed, “There are two words in the English language that you should never say 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.”
Chappelle added that while it’s “not a crazy thing to think,” saying “Jews run show business” is “it’s a crazy thing to say out loud.”
Chappelle continued “It shouldn’t be this scary to talk about anything, It’s making my job incredibly difficult. And to be honest with you, I’m sick of talking to a crowd like this. I love you to death and I thank you for your support. And I hope they don’t take anything away from me… whoever they are.”
The Chappelle Show actor also said that West “broke the show business rules” elsewhere.
“You know, the rules of perception,” he further stated. “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.”