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Dave Chappelle’s ‘SNL’ Monologue Sparks Backlash from the Anti-Defamation League

Several anti-Semitic organizations, including the anti-Defamation League’s national director, are criticizing Dave Chappelle’s opening monologue from Saturday Night Live.

On Sunday, Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Jewish civil rights organization, tweeted about Chappelle’s monologue on Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks.

“We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize #antisemitism,” he wrote.  “Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn?  Why does our trauma trigger applause?”

As well as expressing concern, others commented on Chappelle’s monologue.  Rabbi Josh Yuter wrote that “the key point” of the monologue was that “there are double standards regarding who can say what about whom.”

Since then, Dave’s monologue has brought forth more criticism.  The Jerusalem Post called it an “engaging in antisemitic tropes,” while Time Out New York’s Adam Feldman said the opener “probably normalized antisemitism more than anything Kanye said.”

While Eric Deggans, an NPR TV critic, said he was “severely disappointed” with the monologue.

“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 said.

“It shouldn’t be this scary to talk about anything,” Chappelle said.  “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.”

Adding that West had “broken the show business rules.”

“You know, the rules of perception,” he added.  “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.”

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