The actor Lakeith Stanfield has spoken in the middle of the controversy for his presence in a clubhouse room where the participants done anti-Semitic comments, saying, “Any kind of hate speech, I vehemently reject it.”
Stanfield, whose films include Sorry to Bother You, Get Out, and Judas and the Black Messiah, said nothing anti-Semitic himself. But he moderated the discussion, which took place earlier this week.
He said he didn’t know much about one of the issues being discussed, Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, a prominent black figure who has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks.
“I definitely don’t align myself with Louis Farrakhan, I don’t support him,” Stanfield told the Daily Beast in an interview published Saturday. “Any kind of hate speech, I vehemently reject it. That is not up for debate, hatred is not up for debate. “
Clubhouse is a social media application in which invited users can listen to discussions. Wednesday’s session was meant to offer a “balanced” conversation on whether Farrakhan’s legacy was damaged by his anti-Semitism.
A moderator closed the room after determining that the discussion had turned inflammatory, but another room was opened and the discussion continued.
Stanfield told the Beast that he was interested in the subject, but was “not sure to what extent” Farrakhan was controversial.
“He was much more interested in finding out this information, so it wasn’t about Louis Farrakhan per se,” Stanfield said.
Jewish participants in what was touted as an attempt to “bridge the gap” between the black and Jewish communities told the Beast that they had to defend themselves against “vile anti-Semitism” and explain why some comments were hateful.
“There is no other perspective,” said a Jewish woman in the room, without being named. “I am not going to debate with anyone about my humanity or to be told that Hitler was right or that my identity and my heritage are not real.
“I am so tired of this other side. Every time someone’s sentence starts, ‘Well, Hitler was right’ or ‘Hitler was wrong about a lot of things, but here’s something he did that was right’, you’re not right, there isn’t a leg to stand on. “
Farrakhan has described Adolf Hitler as a “very great man”. He has denied being anti-Semitic, calling the Jewish people “satanic” in the same speech.
Stanfield said he asked a question in the Clubhouse room, after which an organizer appointed him moderator.
“It was so chaotic in the room, there were a couple of outbursts,” he said. “I think I remember someone who said something about ‘all Jews rule the world’ or something a little crazy, and that was one of the people I rated in the audience.”
In clubhouse rooms, moderators control who is placed on a “stage” to speak.
“But for the most part, an outburst would occur and then the conversation would return to its normal rhythm.”
A Jewish aide drew attention to Stanfield’s presence, noting that he had 79,000 followers who might think he condoned the anti-Semitic comments.
“It really took me by surprise, because I wasn’t the room host in the first place,” Stanfield told the Beast. “But I also didn’t feel like the conversation was really headed in a direction that was completely attacking the Jewish people.
“At the time, I thought there were still people saying their points and then other people saying their points. So I explained that I know this is a very tense and emotional conversation, and I just want everyone to have the time to be able to participate in the conversation. So that was part of me trying to moderate this conversation that was going on. “
Stanfield said he walked away from his phone, noting how early it was in London, where he is filming the comedy Atlanta. A lot of “chaos started to erupt and people are saying all kinds of crazy things, apparently,” he said.
“The following days, there were conversations about what happened in that room. I was really surprised by a lot of the things that I was hearing that were happening in the room because a lot of those things were just not there. So, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s terrible.’
After Stanfield’s presence in the Clubhouse room was noticed on social media, and the Beast reported the incident, the actor said on Instagram: “Thinking outside the box has a cost,” adding: “They will always try to discredit you. and attack you … useless. “
Deleted that message and aware a full apology.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism