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It's 2020 & Dave Chappelle Still Thinks It's Cool to Make AIDS Jokes

It's 2020 & Dave Chappelle Still Thinks It's Cool to Make AIDS Jokes

It's 2020 & Dave Chappelle Still Thinks It's Cool to Make AIDS Jokes

A shot at Freddie Mercury during Saturday Night Live was not well received by LGBTQ+ viewers.

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Comedian Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend and as usual with his brand of "provocative" humor, his opening monologue featured a flurry of distasteful and unfunny jokes. Some are calling the entirety of the opening "incisive" or "grimly funny" or "an illuminating mess," which is all debatable, but thrown in the mix was a particularly homophobic joke about iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

During his series of hot takes on Donald Trump getting voted out of office, he commented on the president catching coronavirus last month. "Trump getting coronavirus was like when Freddie Mercury got AIDS," he said in the 16-minute monologue. "Nobody was like, 'Well how did he get it?'"

The "joke" received some uncomfortable laughs from the audience. 

Mercury died in 1991 from AIDS-related complications. Chappelle's comment disrespects Mercury's legacy and death, makes light of a virus that wiped out a whole generation of LGBTQ+ people, perpetuates the myth that all queer men die of AIDS, and elicits laughs-off of misinformation that fuels pervasive homophobic stereotypes to this day.

Saturday Night Live seems to be getting less and less funny with each passing season and with hosts like Chappelle, it's easy to see why. Just last year, he swatted away criticism about anti-trans jokes in his Netflix special. Chappelle continuously takes low-blows at the LGBTQ+ community when he could use his platform for something good, or at the very least, keep our names out of his mouth.

Viewers weren't happy with the "joke." 

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!