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Saturday Night Live fans ‘outraged’ at returning host Dave Chappelle

"Just exactly what no one needs right now," one SNL fan tweeted about Dave Chappelle's hosting gig.

By Emily Maskell

Dave Chappelle
Fans of Saturday Night Live are 'outraged' that Dave Chappelle is returning to host after making transphobic comments (Image: SNL/NBC)

Dave Chappelle is set to host Saturday Night Live (SNL) next week and fans aren’t pleased.

The 49-year-old stand-up comedian and actor will be the host of the upcoming show on Saturday 12 November. It will be Chappelle’s third time as host, having hosted in 2016 and 2020.

Chappelle has become a controversial figure following his 2021 stand-up special on Netflix, The Closer in which he made comments widely regarded as transphobic. 

Following SNL’s announcement that Chappelle would be back in the spotlight, many online condemned the hosting decision.

“Sigh. Just exactly what no one needs right now,” one user wrote in response to the announcement. 

Another shared: “Wonder how SNL’s first nonbinary castmember this season must feel about them platforming Dave Chappelle next week.”

“Disappointing but not surprising. Feeling for Molly Kearney right now”

Molly Kearney was announced as SNL‘s first non-binary cast member earlier this year.

Someone else added: “there’s no way we should be anything *but* absurdly outraged by this – it’s this institutional ignorance and complacency that allows hate and prejudice to continue to spread and SNL should be absolutely fucking ashamed.”

The last time Chappelle was on SNL, he distastefully compared late Queen singer Freddie Mercury‘s HIV/AIDS battle with Donald Trump contracting coronavirus.

In The Closer Chappelle said: “I’m team TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist].” He added: “Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. This is a fact.”

In response to the backlash, and around 1,000 Netflix trans and allies employees walking out over the show, Chappelle said he will not bend “to anybody’s demands.”

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos issued company-wide memos about the row at the time, which he later conceded “lacked humanity”, adding, “I screwed up.”

Following the criticism, Chappelle was attacked on stage as he performed a comedy set at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in May.

In clips immediately following the attack Chappelle appears to try and joke that “it was a trans man”. 

Chappelle will be joined on SNL by Black Star as musical guests.