Dave Chappelle is facing backlash after he mocked Donald Trump with a shocking joke about Freddie Mercury and AIDS on Saturday Night Live.
The comedian hosted Saturday’s episode of the sketch comedy and variety show – and he won some praise for his commentary on race, the coronavirus pandemic and Donald Trump.
But an insensitive, outdated and offensive joke about AIDS has lodged in the minds of LGBT+ viewers.
Chappelle mocked Donald Trump for contracting COVID-19 in October, saying it was “hilarious”.
“Trump getting coronavirus was like when Freddie Mercury got AIDS. Nobody was like, ‘Well how did he get it?'”
Dave Chappelle was widely criticised for making an insensitive joke about AIDS during his Saturday Night Live monologue.
Dave Chappelle has faced a torrent of backlash on social media for the comment, with many questioning why he thought an AIDS joke was appropriate in 2020.
Not funny in the 1980s.
Not funny now. pic.twitter.com/7T0g8hu4jA
— Matthew Hodson (@Matthew_Hodson) November 9, 2020
nice to see that AIDS is deemed relevant in the current moment in the context of a (terrible) joke pic.twitter.com/8EIbjqIZog
— Jack King (@jackarking) November 8, 2020
— Dan Ellis (@dgellis0907) November 9, 2020
Cool, it’s 2020, and “jokes” about Freddie Mercury contracting AIDS are funny again; a joke made with the unspoken presumption that he was a man having a lot of sex with men, so of course he got AIDS. Yep, hilarious, Dave Chappelle and #SNL. Thanks for that.
— Tim Teeman (@TimTeeman) November 8, 2020
Watching @nbcsnl yesterday I couldn’t believe I was seeing someone make an AIDS joke in 2020.
I didn’t tweet immediately as I wasn’t sure quite how to express my reaction.
32m dead, 38m of us living with HIV today.
— Tom trying to stay PositiveLad (@PositiveLad) November 9, 2020
dave chappelle making an AIDS joke on SNL tonight regarding freddie mercury pic.twitter.com/xroKQmR0WT
— 🖕🏻fuck da police 🖕🏻 (@theejayy) November 8, 2020
Y'all really see it for Dave Chappelle and then he gotta ruin it with that messed up joke of how Freddie Mercury died (from AIDS) and then I'm reminded of why I can't with him. #SNL
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) November 8, 2020
and with one Dave Chappelle Freddy Mercury AIDS "joke" all of my optimism fades away.
— (((Kenny Mellman))) (@kennymellman) November 8, 2020
Chappelle won praise for other parts of his monologue, where he touched on systemic racism, people who refuse to wear masks, and political division in the United States.
Trump getting coronavirus was like when Freddie Mercury got AIDS. Nobody was like, ‘Well how did he get it?’
He also repeatedly hit out at the outgoing president for receiving top-notch medical care while he had coronavirus while others died, and made fun of the paltry amount of tax Trump has paid.
The comedian has mocked trans people repeatedly in his routines.
This is not the first time Dave Chappelle has faced backlash over his anti-LGBT+ comments. He has repeatedly mocked transgender people in his comedy routines, with a fresh attack in a Netflix stand-up special released in August.
In the hour-long special, Chappelle said he doesn’t believe the people who say Michael Jackson molested them – and he defended controversial comedians Kevin Hart and Louis C.K.
He later said trans people “hate my f**king guts and I don’t blame them” and claimed he “can’t stop writing jokes” about the community.
“What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was breaking an unwritten and unspoken rule of show business,” he said in the comedy special.
“No matter what you do in your artistic expression, you are never, ever, allowed to upset the alphabet people. You know who I mean. Those people who took 20 per cent of the alphabet for themselves. I’m talking about them Ls and Bs and Gs and the Ts.
“I feel bad for the Ts. But they’re so confusing… the fact is if a person can be born in the wrong body, they have to admit that’s a f**king hilarious predicament.”
Many within the LGBT+ community have repeatedly called on the comedian to stop making jokes at the expense of queer people – but Dave Chappelle is apparently not listening.