Under criticism for anti-Israel statements during a set at Boston’s TD Garden on Oct. 19, U.S. comedian Dave Chappelle is denying that he was even in the city that night.
According to The Wall Street Journal, some fans walked after there were reportedly “Free Palestine” and “What about Hamas?” chants during the performance.
The paper reported that the comedian came out against students losing their jobs for expressing support for 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,” the Journal reported.
A Chappelle spokeswoman told the paper the following day that the comedian “denies being in Boston last night.”
“His team’s denying he was there,” TMZ reported, “but he was.” It linked a photo by sports talk-show host Jim Murray of Chappelle performing that night. Stanley Cup banners for the Boston Bruins can be seen in the rafters.
“Chappelle was a 10/10. But if you’re going Friday night and the crowd is anything like tonight—good luck,” wrote Murray. “You’d have thought it was the first night out of the house since the pandemic for these slobs.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said “Dave Chappelle, wrong century. Jews were helpless as they were tortured, raped and mass murdered during Nazi Holocaust. Not today. Not with Israel dedicated to protecting the Jewish people.”
“Mass murderers of our people, torturers of Jewish infants, rapists, kidnappers and their enablers are paying for their crimes against humanity,” he added. “Find it amusing? Hamas and Islamic Jihad aren’t anymore.”
Chappelle has been accused in the past of making antisemitic jokes.