Jonathan Greenblatt says comedian’s SNL bit on Jews in Hollywood ‘diminishes, popularizes’ Jew-hatred, but most Jewish leaders refrain from weighing in on controversy
The head of the Anti-Defamation League on Sunday blasted comedian Dave Chappelle for a monologue about Jews, saying the bit “popularizes” antisemitism, though most Jewish leaders avoided weighing in on the matter.
Chappelle opened “Saturday Night Live” with a lengthy monologue commenting on the antisemitism controversies surrounding Kanye West and NBA star Kyrie Irving.
The comedian mocked the handling of antisemitism in the entertainment industry, saying it’s “not a crazy thing to think” Jews control Hollywood and implied that Jews blamed Black Americans for their trauma.
“We shouldn’t expect [Dave Chappelle] to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see [SNL] not just normalize but popularize antisemitism,” said ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt.
“Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?” Greenblatt wrote.
The ADL’s director of community engagement, Carly Pildis, said Chappelle “wants to joke about antisemitism but he isn’t living with the consequences.”
“Chappelle could have made a really powerful moment standing up against hate while making us laugh. He has the talent to make that choice. Instead, he chose to make Jews and the hatred we face the punchline,” she said.