Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live for the third time over the weekend and took aim at Kanye “Ye” West’s antisemitic comments during his 15-minute opening monologue. The comedian has been embroiled in controversy of his own since making transphobic remarks on his Netflix special The Closer—something that he did not address directly.
Pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket, Chappelle said that he wanted to read a “brief statement” that he prepared. “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,” he joked.
The Half Baked actor continued, “I’ve been to Hollywood, and this is just what I saw: It’s a lot of Jews, like a lot. But that doesn’t mean anything, you know what I mean? There’s a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, but that doesn’t mean we run the place.”
Some are criticizing Chappelle for downplaying the severity of West’s comments. Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter, "We shouldn't expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society's moral compass, but 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?"