entertainment

Dave Chappelle makes 'disgusting' joke about 'when Freddie Mercury got AIDS' on SNL

"AIDS is not a punchline"

2020-11-09

Picture: SNL

Dave Chappelle joked about the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury's HIV/AIDS battle while hosting Saturday Night Live over the weekend.

The comic made the remark on Saturday's episode of the show as part of a monologue.

During his skit, the star compared Mercury's illness with US President Donald Trump contracting coronavirus earlier this year.

"Nobody was like, 'well how did he get it?'"

"It was hilarious - Trump getting coronavirus was like when Freddie Mercury got AIDS," said the star, to laughter from the audience.

"Nobody was like, 'well how did he get it?'"

Reacting on Twitter, one critic said: "This is utterly disgusting and pathetic" adding "AIDS is not a punchline nor is Freddie Mercury’s life and legacy. The year is 2020, time to move beyond basic homophobic jokes."

Said another: "Hire Dave Chappelle in 2020, get 1992 jokes."

A third added: "And with one Dave Chappelle Freddy Mercury AIDS 'joke' all of my optimism fades away."

Chappelle's appearance follows news of Democrat Joe Biden beating Republican leader Trump (who Chappelle called a "racist, hilarious son of a bitch" on SNLin last week's US election.

Another Twitter user reasoned that "some of Dave Chappelle’s SNL monologue killed, but the Freddie Mercury AIDS punchline shows Dave thinks it’s still the outlaw comic 90s and can’t quit homophobia for easy laughs."

As well as his stand-up comedy, Chappelle is known for roles in films like The Nutty Professor, Chi-Raq and A Star Is Born.

"Inaccurate, outdated and harmful"

Fraser Wilson from HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust told Attitude: "Some people might find what Dave Chappelle said about Freddie Mercury funny. But the reality is that this kind of ‘joke’ – delivered to massive audiences on TV and online – pushes us backwards when it comes to changing people’s inaccurate, outdated and harmful perceptions of HIV. That’s why it isn’t funny and why HIV shouldn’t be an easy punchline."

Attitude has approached a rep for Dave Chappelle for comment.

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