Jerry Seinfeld has focused on the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s “Saturday Night Live” monologue.
Chappelle, 49, drew backlash for comments he made about the Jewish community during his opening routine, which critics have called “normalizing anti-Semitism.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Seinfeld, 68, was asked to share his thoughts on the recent argument between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert over Chappelle’s remarks and whether he thought the monologue was funny.
The comedian, who is Jewish, told the outlet, “I thought the comedy was well done, but I think the subject matter requires a conversation that I don’t think I’d like to have in this setting.”
When pressed on whether the monologue made him “uncomfortable,” the star replied, “It sparks a hopefully productive conversation.”
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The “Seinfeld” alum was then asked if he planned to have a conversation with Chappelle as the two comedians seemed to share a “close relationship.”
“I don’t have a close relationship with him,” Seinfeld said. “We are friends, not a close relationship.”
In 2018, Chappelle appeared as a guest on an episode of the Netflix talk show Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. According to The Hollywood Reporter, their exchange was featured in Seinfeld’s upcoming book about the show titled “Comedians in Cars Get Coffee.”
This past weekend, “Chappelle’s Show” hosted SNL and during the opening 15-minute segment, joked about recent anti-Semitic comments made by Kanye “Ye” West and NBA star Kyrie Irving, who promoted an anti-Semitic film on Twitter.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, called out to Chappelle about the monologue on Twitter.
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“We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as a moral compass for society, but it’s disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalizing but popularizing #anti-Semitism,” Greenblatt wrote.
“Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our shock raise applause?”
On Tuesday night’s episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” referenced in the Hollywood Reporter article, Colbert and Stewart discuss Chappelle’s monologue.
Everyone calls me like, ‘You see Dave on ‘SNL’?” Stewart, who is Jewish, said. And I say yeah, we’re very good friends. I’m always watching and sending cute text messages.”
And he continued, “Well, he normalized his anti-Semitism with his monologue.” I don’t know if I’m in the comment sections of most news articles, but it’s pretty normal. You know, it’s incredibly normal. “
“But one thing I will say is that I don’t think censorship and sanctions 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 handle it.”
The “The Problem With Jon Stewart” host added, “Dave said something in his ‘SNL’ monologue that I thought was constructive, which ‘It shouldn’t be hard to talk about things. ‘ And that’s what we’re talking about.”
“Whether it’s comedy or discussion or something else, if we don’t have enough to meet each other for what reality is, how do we move forward?”
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