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NBC's SNL Slammed For Upcoming Dave Chappelle Hosting Gig

NBC's SNL Slammed For Upcoming Dave Chappelle Hosting Gig

Dave Chappelle

Why the show invited a documented transphobe to host a program that features gay and nonbinary actors is hard for critics to understand.


Some Saturday Night Live fans are upset that the long-running award-winning show has asked Dave Chappelle to host this weekend's episode. Many are asking how a show that supports LGBTQ+ rights could give the comedian who makes no secret about his transphobia such a big platform.

SNL announced that Chappelle would host via Twitter shortly before midnight Saturday.

Twitter users required no prompting, and seemingly all had the same idea. People bombarded the comments of SNL's tweet with a photo of Don Cheadle wearing a "Protect trans kids" shirt during a February 2019 episode of the NBC show that the award-winning actor hosted.

On Tuesday morning, when SNL tweeted a promotional video for Saturday's show, the tweet was likewise inundated with photos of Cheadle's appearance in the trans-supportive t-shirt.

SNL is steeped in LGBTQ+ history, which is why so many viewers from that community feel confusion, disappointment, and anger toward the long-running NBC sketch comedy show.

Moreover, critics point out that Chapelle's well-known stance against gender-nonconforming and transgender people flies in the face of the show's hiring of Molly Kearney, the program's first out nonbinary actor.

Last year, when Netflix decided to support the comedian's stand-up special, The Closer, employees staged a walkout. The performance has been roundly criticized for Chappelle's transphobic remarks, and the company was criticized for how it handled those criticisms.

At the time, GLAAD tweeted, "Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don't support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree."

On Sunday, former vice president of Netflix's transgender employee resource team, Terra Field, tweeted, "Wait, I thought I canceled him. Is it possible cancel culture isn't a real thing."

Two NBC spokespeople whom The Advocate reached out to for comment did not respond.

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