Jon Stewart defended his pal Dave Chappelle’s recent controversial “Saturday Night Live” monologue.
The comedian, 49, guest-hosted the NBC sketch series Nov. 12 and his stint caused an uproar in the “SNL” writer’s room.
He was then accused of regularizing anti-Semitism in his monologue, which Stewart, 59, disagrees with.
“Everybody calls me like, ‘You see Dave on “SNL”?’ And I say yes, we’re very good friends. I always watch and send nice texts,” Stewart said on Tuesday’s episode of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
” ‘He normalized anti-Semitism with the monologue,’ ” Stewart went on. “I don’t know if you’ve been on comment sections on most news articles, but it’s pretty normal. It’s incredibly normal.”
The former “Daily Show” host then pointed out that censoring would only make matters worse.
“But the one thing I will say is I don’t believe that censorship and penalties are the way to end anti-Semitism or to gain understanding,” he said. “I don’t believe in that. It’s the wrong way for us to approach it.”
Stewart also said Chappelle’s speech had at least one good point.
“Dave said something in the ‘SNL’ monologue that I thought was constructive, which he says, ‘It shouldn’t be this hard to talk about things,’ ” he said. “Whether it be comedy or discussion or anything else, if we don’t have the wherewithal to meet each other with what’s reality, then how do we move forward?”
In the “You’ve Got Mail” star’s soliloquy on “SNL,” he joked for 15 minutes about Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic statements as well as comments made by Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving. The rapper was later dropped from various business partnerships and the basketball star was suspended from the team.
“If we all just shut it down, then we retreat to our little corners of misinformation and it metastasizes” Stewart added. “The whole point of all this is to not let it metastasize and to get it out in the air and talk about it.”
However, Chappelle’s speech was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League.
“We shouldn’t expect @DaveChappelle to serve as society’s moral compass, but disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize #antisemitism,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted Sunday.
“Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?” he asked.