Saturday Night Live, Dave Chappelle "Popularize Antisemitism": ADL
Comedian/actor Dave Chappelle took the stage of NBC's Saturday Night Live last night with an opening monologue that addressed rapper Kanye West and NBA player Kyrie Irving's recent controversies surrounding comments and social media postings viewed by many as antisemitic and promoting antisemitic beliefs. If you didn't get a chance to check out our review, we touched upon how Chappelle's approach to the topics & his responses came across more as "you shouldn't have said it out loud" and less as "that conspiracy stuff is crap." Earlier today, we learned that Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director for the Jewish civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), was one of those less than impressed with Chappelle's act.
"We shouldn't expect [Dave Chappelle] to serve as society's moral compass, but disturbing to see [NBC's 'Saturday Night Live'] not just normalize but popularize [antisemitism]. Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?" Greenblatt wrote in a tweet earlier today in response to Chappelle's monologue.
Chappelle began his monologue by reading off a piece of paper, "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." From there, Chappelle's monologue touched upon his belief that it's "not a crazy thing to think" (the whackjob conspiracy theory that the Jewish community controls all of the entertainment industry) but that "it's a crazy thing to say out loud." The actor/comedian also implied a double standard was at play, adding, "It's a big deal, he [West] 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." And Chappelle didn't back away from the topic when wrapping up his opener, telling the audience in attendance and in front of their screens at home, "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." Here's a look at Chappelle's entire SNL opening monologue from Saturday night: