Dave Chappelle Says the Media "Twisted" Trump's Words in the 'Access Hollywood' Tapes
His rep says the jokes, as reported by the Observer, were "grossly out of context."
Dave Chappelle's rep is clarifying some comments the comedian made during a stand-up set on Friday night regarding Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, saying the jokes were "grossly out of context as reported in the Observer.
Chappelle has been fitting in stand-up sets leading up to his hosting debut on Saturday Night Live, covering topics ranging from Clinton to Trump's Access Hollywood tapes to whether he'll even show up for his SNL gig.
During a set on Friday at New York's The Cutting Room, as reported by theObserver, Chappelle admitted that he voted for Clinton, but "didn't feel good" about it. “She’s going to be on a coin someday. And her behavior has not been coin-worthy,” he told the crowd. “She’s not right, and we all know she’s not right.”
He even speculated that Clinton herself leaked the Access Hollywood hot-mic tapes to the media.
“What I heard on that tape was gross,” he said. “But the way I got to hear it was even more gross. You know that came directly from Hillary.”
Chappelle reportedly continued that what Trump said didn't sound like "sexual assault" to him and said that the media "twisted" Trump's words. "He said, ‘And when you’re a star, they let you do it.’ That phrase implies consent. I just don’t like the way the media twisted that whole thing. Nobody questioned it."
The comedian added that the debate held after the tapes were released was "backward," saying a "gay white man and a white woman asking a multibillionaire how he knows the system is rigged and insisting it’s not" just "didn’t seem right" to him.
"And here’s how you know Trump is the most gangsta candidate ever. They asked him how he knows the system is rigged, and he said, ‘Because I take advantage of it.’ He may as well have flashed his membership card for the Illuminati right then."
But Chappelle's rep says the jokes don't read accurately in context when transcribed into a written story.
"In no uncertain terms does Dave Chappelle support Donald Trump, in fact, he voted for Hilary Clinton," his rep told The Hollywood Reporter. "The Observer and everyone else recounting the story has seemed to forget Dave Chappelle is a comedian. He tells jokes… dirty, political, and often irreverent jokes just because they’re funny. That’s what he does. Comedians should not have to explain their jokes, especially to people who were not at the show. Transcribed jokes often get lost in interpretation because they don’t convey the sarcasm, tone and gestures that give them context.
"The jokes cited in the Observer story are grossly out of context. There were 199 others in the audience and many have already refuted the Observer's account. They all got it. This reporter didn’t. Dave is disgusted by the tone of the election and especially by the idea that his comedy would be misconstrued to defend or support Donald Trump."
Of his SNL hosting debut on Nov. 12, Chappelle said that there's a chance he may decide not to make an appearance. “You know, there’s a pool going on whether or not I show up. I got $100,000 that says I won’t.”
Sunday, Nov. 6, 10:02 p.m.: Updated with Chappelle's rep's statement.