Jerry Seinfeld spoke out about the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s “Saturday Night Live” monologue.
Chappelle, 49, caused a stir over comments he made about the Jewish community during his opening routine, which critics labeled as “normalizing anti-Semitism.”
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the 68-year-old Seinfeld was asked to comment on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s recent debate over Chappelle’s comments and whether he found the monologue funny.
“I thought the comedy was well executed, but I think the subject matter evokes a conversation that I don’t think I would want to have in this venue,” the comedian, who is Jewish, told the outlet.
When asked if the monologue made him “uncomfortable,” the stand-up star replied, “It provokes conversation that hopefully is productive.”
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The “Seinfeld” alum was then asked if he planned to have a talk with Chappelle, as the comedians seemed to share a “close relationship”.
“I don’t have a close relationship with him,” Seinfeld said. “We’re friends and it’s not a close relationship.”
In 2018, Chappelle was a guest on an episode of Seinfeld’s Netflix talk show ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’. According to the Hollywood Reporter, their exchange was featured in Seinfeld’s upcoming book about the show titled “The Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Book.”
This past weekend, the “Chappelle’s Show” featured alum “SNL” making fun of recent anti-Semitic comments from Kanye “Ye” West and NBA star Kyrie Irving, who promoted an anti-Semitic movie on Twitter, during his 15-minute opening bit.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called out Chappelle during the monologue on Twitter.
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“We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society’s moral compass, but it’s disturbing to see @nbcsnl not only normalize, but popularize #anti-Semitism,” Greenblatt wrote.
“Why are Jewish sensibilities denied or diminished at almost every step? Why does our trauma provoke applause?”
On the Tuesday night episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” referenced in the Hollywood Reporter article, Colbert and Stewart discussed Chappelle’s monologue.
Stewart, who is Jewish, said, “Everyone calls me like, ‘Do you see Dave on ‘SNL’?” And I say yes, we are very good friends. I always look and send nice texts.”
He continued, “‘Well, he normalized anti-Semitism with the monologue.’ I don’t know if you’ve been in the comment sections of most news articles, but it’s pretty normal. As you know, it’s incredibly normal.”
“But all I want to say is that I don’t believe censorship and punishment are the way to end anti-Semitism or gain understanding,” Stewart explained. “I don’t believe in that. It’s the wrong way for us to approach it.”
“The problem with Jon Stewart,” the host added, “Dave said something in the ‘SNL’ monologue that I thought was constructive, which is, ‘It shouldn’t be that hard to talk about stuff.’ And that’s what we’re talking about.”
“Whether it’s comedy or discussion or something else, if we don’t have the resources to meet with what the reality is, how do we move forward?”
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