Jon Stewart has defended Dave Chappelle against accusations of anti-Semitism.
“I don’t know if you’ve been on comment sections on most news articles, but it’s pretty normal,” Stewart said on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Tuesday (November 15).
“It’s incredibly normal. But the one thing I will say is: I don’t believe that censorship and penalties are the way to end anti-Semitism or to gain understanding. I don’t believe in that. It’s the wrong way for us to approach it.”
Chappelle began his hosting stint by joking about Kanye West and Kyrie Irving’s anti-Semitic remarks, saying that the former should have apologised to “buy himself some time”.
“I’ve probably been doing this 35 years now, and early in my career I learned that there are two words in the English language you should never say together in sequence, and they are: The Jews,” Chappelle said. “I’ve never heard someone do good after they said that.”
Stewart added that anti-Semitic comments must be handled “in a straightforward manner” or else “we will never gain any kind of understanding with each other”.
“Dave said something in the SNL monologue that I thought was constructive, which he says, ‘It shouldn’t be this hard to talk about things,'” Stewart added.
“Look, I can’t pretend that there aren’t a fuck ton of people, in this country and this world, who believe that the Jews have an unreasonable amount of control over the systems.”
SNL had been criticised for booking Chappelle after the comedian made a series of remarks that were perceived as transphobic in his Netflix special The Closer.