Dave Chappelle briefly waded into the conflict between Israel and Hamas at a show in Boston last week, drawing cheers from some in the audience and causing others to walk away as he criticized the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Gaza Strip, according to news reports and a spokeswoman for the comedian.
The filming was on Thursday, the first of two shows Mr. Chappelle held at Boston’s TD Garden, and no jokes or comments about the war were planned, spokeswoman Carla Sims said.
Mr Chappelle’s comments were first reported by The Wall Street Journalwhich said some audience members cheered Mr. Chappelle when he spoke about the conflict while others walked away. Los Angeles Times She reported that perhaps 200 people out of the approximately 17,000 audience left at the end of the show.
“As a comedian and satirist, he has to navigate the complexities of competing realities, offering points of view that can be both thought-provoking and challenging,” Ms. Sims said of Mr. Chappelle.
People were not allowed to access their phones during the performance, and there was little evidence of what exactly happened during filming. But Mr. Chappelle was at one point drawn to the war theme by audience members and then focused on it for about eight minutes, according to news reports and a person who listened to a recording of the group.
After initially declining to participate, Mr. Chappelle, who has not hesitated to address controversial issues in recent years, raised concerns about the way a group of Harvard students were treated after writing an anti-Israel letter. At that moment, someone in the audience shouted: He should shut up, according to reports and the person who heard the recording.
Mr. Chappelle, taken aback by the attempt to silence him on his own show, apparently told the person he should shut up, according to news reports and the person who listened to the tape. He said the October 7 attacks were also horrific Israel was criticized for its role in displacing more than a million people and preventing food, water and fuel. The comedian added that people on both sides of the conflict need to reflect and think about how they deal with each other.
He eventually admitted that the person who told him to be quiet was right to be angry, according to the person who heard the tape. But he encouraged people to talk to each other and stressed that everyone must remember that human beings have been killed in conflict.
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