“I did think the comedy was well-executed”
Jerry Seinfeld addressed Dave Chappelle’s Saturday night live monologue about anti-Semitism.
Schapelle caused controversy because of comments he made about the Jewish community during his opening speech, and critics accused him of “popularizing” and “normalizing” anti-Semitism.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Seinfeld, a Jew, was asked to share his thoughts on the recent debate between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert over Chappelle’s monologue.
“I really think the comedy was well executed, but I think the topic calls for a conversation that I don’t think I would want to have at this point,” Seinfeld said.
When asked if he is uncomfortable because of the routine, he replied: “It provokes a conversation that hopefully will be productive.”
The Seinfeld star was then asked if he planned to talk to Chappelle, as the comedians seemed to have a “close relationship.”
“I don’t have a close relationship with him,” Seinfeld said. “We are friends, and this is not a close relationship.”
Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle. PROVIDING: Getty Images
In Chappelle’s monologue on SNL, the comedian joked about Kanye “Ye” West’s recent anti-Semitic remarks, saying the rapper had to apologize to “buy himself some time.”
“Maybe I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and at the beginning of my career I learned that there are two words in the English language that can never be pronounced together in a row, and that’s: “Jews,” Chappelle said. “I’ve never heard of anyone doing good after saying that.”
Later in a monologue, Chappelle explained why the anti-Semitic belief that Jews collectively rule the world is wrong, comparing it to anti-black racism in some parts of America.
“I was in Hollywood and saw only this: a lot of Jews, a lot,” Chappelle said. “But that doesn’t mean anything. There are a lot of blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, but that doesn’t mean we run this place.
“I see if you have some kind of problem, you can go to Hollywood and start connecting some lines, and you may be able to accept the illusion that Jews run show business. It’s not crazy to think, but it’s stupid to speak out loud in this climate.”
His monologue drew criticism on social media, with some claiming that despite comically criticizing racist ideology, he provided a platform for these harmful views.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted: “We should not expect @DaveChappelle to serve as the moral compass of society, but it is disturbing to see that @nbcsnl not only normalizes, but also popularizes anti-Semitism. Why is Jewish sensitivity denied or belittled at almost every step? Why is our injury causing applause?”
SNL was criticized for booking Chappelle after the comedian made a number of remarks that were perceived as transphobic in his Netflix special The Closer.