ace saturday night live prepares to welcome Dave Chappelle back into Studio 8H, some writers are reportedly stepping back in response. Chappelle is set to host the November 12 show alongside musical guest Black Star, a decision that’s already caused public backlash given Chappelle’s well-documented transphobia.
A source reportedly close to saturday night live shares that there are staff writers who are “not going to do the show,” but “none of the actors are boycotting,” per Page Six.
In recent years, Chappelle has become known for unapologetically transphobic comedy, a harmful content choice he has consistently and publicly doubled down on. Chappelle also led Netflix into hot water for repeatedly platforming his comments. His 2021 Netflix special The Closer—which features several jokes where Chappelle asserts that trans women are not real women—prompted a collective of Netflix’s trans employees to stage a walkout in protest.
saturday night live has multiple queer cast members, and just this year welcomed their first non-binary player in comedian Molly Kearney. No cast members have made any public statements condemning the show, as of yet. However, at least one SNL employee, writer Celeste Yim, shared a message to their Instagram Story that seemingly alluded to the Chappelle announcement.
“I’m trans and non-binary,” Yim wrote, alongside a picture of them on the job at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. “I use they/them pronouns. Transphobia is murder and it should be condemned.”
Despite all the stirrings of backlash, a representative for Chappelle paints a different picture. According to the comedian’s rep, a Tuesday writer’s meeting preparing for the show indicated “no evidence” of a boycott brewing amongst writers and cast.
“The room was full of writers,” the rep tells Page Six. “They all pitched ideas and they seemed very excited about it… Dave is looking to have some fun.”
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