Some activists say Chappelle’s jokes about antisemitism normalize a dangerous topic.
Dave Chappellelatest”Saturday Night Live” The monologue has predictably started attracting controversy, but not for the reasons many expected. The comedian has clearly steered clear of issues related to gender and sexuality, but his jokes about America’s recent anti-Semitism issues have created some backlash that appears to be growing.
Chappelle devoted a significant portion of her 15-minute monologue to mocking Kanye West and Kyrie Irving for their recent anti-Semitic comments. He began by mocking their PR blunders, pointing out that Kanye should have apologized to “buy himself some time” and joked that the rapper was so anti-Semitic that Irving got in trouble by association.
The comedian explained why he sees anti-Semitism, particularly the idea that the Jewish people collectively run the world, as a flawed ideology. He used examples of racism against blacks in various parts of the United States as evidence that the presence of a large number of people of a particular race in a particular area did not equal power.
“I’ve been to Hollywood and this is what I saw: It’s a lot of Jews, like a lot,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean anything. There’s a lot of black people in Ferguson, Missouri, but that doesn’t mean we run the place.
The monologue began to draw some criticism on social media on Sunday, with some Jewish leaders and commentators criticizing Chappell for making light of a serious topic. Some felt that explaining a racist ideology, even in a humorous way, meant cutting it off, needlessly normalizing toxic thinking.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, took to Twitter to condemn Chappell’s comments. His organization had previously issued formal statements condemning West and Irving’s comments, and expressed regret over Chappelle’s joke about anti-Semitism on his own stage.
“We shouldn’t expect Dave Chappelle to act as society’s moral compass, but it’s troubling to see ‘SNL’ not only normalizing but popularizing anti-Semitism” He wrote. “Why are Jewish sentiments denied or minimized at almost every turn? Why does our shock inspire applause?”
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