‘SNL’ fans decry Dave Chappelle hosting announcement: ‘What the hell Lorne?!’
NBC has tapped Dave Chappelle to host “Saturday Night Live” for a third time next week. And not everyone is happy about it.
Over the weekend, the TV network announced that the Nov. 12 episode of “SNL” would be hosted by Chappelle with musical guest Black Star, the hip-hop duo comprising Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli. While some celebrated the controversial comedian’s imminent return to the show, others condemned “SNL” for giving him a platform in the wake of his transphobic remarks.
Chappelle has come under fire for including transphobic material in his stand-up routines — most notably in his Emmy-nominated 2021 Netflix special, “The Closer.” Amid internal and external protests, Chappelle and Netflix have stood by the special, in which the comic declares himself “team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
After trans Netflix employees protested, these stories explain the backlash sparked by Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special, “The Closer.”
“SNL giving Dave Chappelle a platform is dangerous, and ... none of us — especially our allies, whose voices aren’t as drowned out as ours — should shut up about it,” tweeted @ZoeRoseBryant. “A war is being waged on trans people (and trans KIDS) every single day, and he helps it grow.”
“I mean, I get it, it seems like tradition at this point to have Dave Chappelle host after an election, but haven’t you guys been paying attention to…everything that guy’s been doing lately?” tweeted @Galileo908.
Reps for “SNL” declined to comment. A spokesperson for Chappelle did not immediately respond Sunday to a request for comment.
Several Twitter users pointed out that Chappelle is slated to host “SNL” the same season the sketch comedy series hired its first nonbinary cast member, Molly Kearney. Kearney made their “SNL” debut earlier this year alongside fellow newcomers Marcello Hernández, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.
“I love SNL. I’ve been a fan all my life. But having Dave Chappelle on as host is not the move,” tweeted @SeanAltly. “You have your first non-binary cast member ever and then you book [a] proud and open transphobe. What a disappointment.”
“Wonder how SNL’s first nonbinary cast member this season must feel about them platforming Dave Chappelle next week,” tweeted @S0UNDOFMETAL. “Disappointing but not surprising. Feeling for Molly Kearney right now.”
“Having Dave Chappelle host SNL again is a slap in the face to trans people, including one of their own new cast members. What the hell Lorne?!” @Runningactor wrote in a tweet calling out “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels.
Several Twitter users extended their disapproval to Kweli, with @grimesfam2 deeming “SNL” “trash” for booking a musician accused of “harassing a Black woman.” In July 2020, Maya A. Moody accused “Talib Kweli and his bots” of a campaign of online harassment after she observed that a public list of Black rappers who married Black women — one that included Kweli — was composed mostly of artists who wed light-skinned women.
In a 2020 interview with the Grio, Kweli denied ever “doxxing a Black woman” or “target[ing] Black women for harassment,” describing his suspension from Twitter as the product of a “targeted harassment campaign” — though he also claimed he was going to “leave Twitter anyway.”
Kweli’s team did not immediately respond Sunday to a request for comment.
After Chappelle’s “The Closer” premiered in October 2021, transgender Netflix employees and their allies staged a walkout in Los Angeles demanding that the streaming platform acknowledge the harm the special and Netflix allegedly caused the trans community.
Terra Field — who previously worked at Netflix as a senior software engineer and served as co-president of the company’s trans employee resource group — was among the trans Netflix staffers who publicly condemned “The Closer.” In response to the “SNL” casting news, she sarcastically tweeted, “Wait I thought I cancelled him. Is it possible cancel culture isn’t a real thing??”
Meanwhile, Chappelle and Kweli’s supporters celebrated the “SNL” lineup announcement on social media.
“Dave Chappelle and Black Star (Yasiin Bey/Mos Def and Talib Kweli) finna be on an American television institution days after Election Day. Must watch,” tweeted @CainMcCoy.
“Dave Chappelle and Black Star? Im actually excited,” tweeted @Chimpz9.
“This is going to be dope! 3 of my favorite celebrities,” tweeted @koracklr.
This week’s episode of “SNL” was hosted by comedian Amy Schumer with musical guest Steve Lacy. Other entertainers who have hosted “SNL” this season include Miles Teller, Brendan Gleeson and Megan Thee Stallion.
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