Dave Chappelle’s Comments on Israel-Gaza War Prompt Walkouts During Stand-up Show

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Dave Chappelle's stand-up show in Boston triggered walkouts after the comedian commented on the Israel-Gaza war. At Thursday's performance at TD Garden Arena, Chappelle condemned the Hamas attacks but also criticized Israel's bombing of Gaza.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “the comments came up when Chappelle said he didn't think students should lose job offers for supporting Palestinians. An audience member's command for the comedian to shut up drew an emotional response from Chappelle, who criticized the Israeli government for cutting off water and other essentials to Gaza and accused it of killing innocent people, according to the attendees.

“Some audience members cheered Chappelle on and shouted ‘Free Palestine,' while others yelled, ‘What about Hamas,' the attendees said. Some in the crowd got up and left. Toward the conclusion of his show, he said of Israeli policies and the Hamas attacks that two wrongs don't make a right, the people said.”

Deadline reports, “Chappelle went on to criticize the Israeli government for cutting off supplies to Gaza’s population, and blocking humanitarian aid.” Someone in the audience reportedly said, “We walked out and met up with many other Jews leaving the show. Never in my life have I felt so unsafe and so fearful of what I was witnessing.”

Dave Chappelle's Controversial Comments Have Angered Audiences Before

Dave Chappelle
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0.

Dave Chappelle likes to stir the pot and is no stranger to sparking controversy. In his Netflix comedy special The Closer, Chappelle drew criticism for offensive jokes about the trans community. Time magazine reports, “[Chappelle] jokingly (and perhaps half-truthfully) calls himself ‘transphobic' several times, and says he learned that word when he was first called out for making anti-trans jokes in a standup set 16 years ago after leaving Chappelle’s Show.

“Chappelle argues that the people who are most angry at him are the ones who only hear his soundbites as opposed to whole sets. He says the target of his jokes are not gay or trans people but White people, and insinuates the jokes are retaliatory for the way that queer White people still oppress Black people. ‘I have never had a problem with transgender people. If you listen to what I’m saying clearly, my problem has always been with White people,' he says. At another point, he expands upon this, saying, ‘Gay people are minorities until they need to be White again.'”

Netflix refused to pull The Closer from the streaming service despite the public outcry.

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer


Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.