Report: Some walked out of Dave Chappelle’s Boston show over Israel comments

Entertainment

The comedian reportedly criticized what he described as war crimes in Gaza, prompting mixed cries of “Free Palestine” and “What about Hamas?” from the audience.

Comedian Dave Chappelle. Gerald Herbert/Associated Press, File

Some audience members reportedly walked out of Dave Chappelle’s show in Boston last Thursday after the comedian criticized Israel’s bombing of Gaza, according to The Wall Street Journal

Chappelle addressed the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas during the TD Garden show, first condemning the Palestinian militant group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the WSJ reported. 

However, the comic also criticized what he described as war crimes in Gaza and accused the U.S. of aiding the slaughter of innocent civilians, the news outlet reported. 

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The commotion reportedly began after Chappelle said he didn’t think students should lose job offers for supporting Palestinians.

When an audience member yelled for Chappelle to shut up, the comedian critiqued the Israeli government for cutting off water and other basic supplies to Gaza and accused the Middle East nation of killing innocent people, according to the WSJ.

Audience members were reportedly split: While some cheered and shouted “Free Palestine,” others yelled “What about Hamas?” or got up and left, the Journal reported. Near the end of his show, Chappelle addressed Israeli policies and the Hamas attacks and said two wrongs don’t make a right, according to the news outlet. 

A spokeswoman for Chappelle told the WSJ he “denies being in Boston” that night, though the TD Garden website indicates he performed two shows for his stand-up comedy tour on Thursday and Friday. A TD Garden spokesperson confirmed to Boston.com that the shows were both held as scheduled. 

Chappelle is no stranger to controversy; in recent years, he’s frequently made jokes at the expense of transgender people, prompting Netflix employees to stage a walkout in protest over his stand-up special “The Closer,” in which he “likens being transgender to wearing blackface, says ‘gender is a fact’ and notes that he’s a member of ‘team TERF,’ an acronym referring to trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” according to The Washington Post.


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