Dave Chappelle has received a divided response to his opening monologue on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live show.
The comedian appeared on the show amid online protests from LGBTQ groups who have criticized his jokes about gender on his previous Netflix special.
However, he steered clear of speaking on the backlash or about the transgender community altogether and instead spent a good portion of the 15 minute monologue referencing Kanye West’s ongoing antisemitism controversy.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has criticised waded into the Chappelle row.
He claimed that Saturday Night Live was “not just normalising but popularising antisemitism”, following Chappelle’s monologue.
In Chappelle’s opener on the show, he said at the start: “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 then proceeded to reference a number of the antisemitic conspiracy theories previously cited by West to roaring laughter from the audience.
“He broke the showbusiness rules,” Chappelle said of pal West.
“If they’re Black, then it’s a gang, if they’re Italian then it’s a mob, but if they’re Jewish then it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it.”
Chappelle, who recently inducted West’s former pal Jay Z into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, then spoke on sports star Irving, saying: “I’ve been to Hollywood and, no one get mad at me, I’m just telling you what I saw... It’s a lot of Jews.
"Like a lot. But that doesn’t mean anything, you know what I mean?
"Because there are a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, it doesn’t mean we run the place.” Chappelle then said that the “delusion that Jews run show business” is “not a crazy thing to think,” but “it’s a crazy thing to say out loud”.
Soon after, Greenblatt criticised his words on Twitter, writing: “We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalise but popularise antisemitism.
“Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?” he added.
His criticism was shared by the Time Out New York’s theatre editor Adam Feldman, who tweeted: “That Dave Chappelle SNL monologue probably did more to normalise antisemitism than anything Kanye said.”
“It’s no surprise that Chappelle used his platform on SNL to minimise Kanye and Kyrie’s antisemitism and tell antisemitic jokes,” Alejandra Carabello tweeted.
“Transphobia and antisemitism are nearly a perfect circle in a Venn diagram. When someone tells you who they are, believe them.”