Dave Chappelle was being his old controversial self during his 2021 Netflix special The Closer in which he told a few offensive jokes about the gay and transgender communities. This weekend, the controversy continues as he’s set to host Saturday Night Live where there might not be any writers except for Matt Rife and Alex “Fonzi” Cureau who are literally campaigning to write for him if there is a writer’s boycott.
As TMZ reports, Matt and Alex were demonstrating at 30 Rockefella Plaza on Thursday holding up signs that read “Will Write For Dave.” They were confronted by at least one person who had serious issues with their willingness to write for Dave. It could easily be misconstrued that their public plea meant they were transphobic and were in agreement with the remarks the controversial comedian made during his Netflix special.
News of the boycott comes after a Page Six report that writers were planning on doing it when they found out Dave Chappelle was set to host. Matt and Alex do not want their message to be confused with bigotry, but more to the point that if there is an actual boycott, “They’ll write if the others don’t want to.”
Celeste Yim, a writer for SNL, made a particularly strong point in an Instagram story that went viral when it hit Reddit. Being trans and non-binary, Yim is one of the writers who might sit out when other writers are fast at work in the halls of 30 Rock.
After the news hit the headlines, the Chappelle camp reached out to TMZ to deny any such boycott, saying Chappelle is looking forward to having a good time and has already shot the promos.
They did happen to nod to the controversy though. In the first and second clips that SNL normally shoots for commercial purposes, Chappelle and comedian Ego Nwodim stood with musical guest Black Star to do some straightforward jokes. It was the third clip that Nwodim brought to attention the news cycle and Chappelle’s controversial platform.
The show seems to be moving forward as planned since SNL doesn’t have a habit of backing down from controversy any more than Chappelle himself does. However, Rife and Cureau stand at the ready if anyone needs any jokes.