LaKeith Stanfield Apologizes for Moderating Anti-Semitic Online Chat
"I am not an anti-Semite, nor do I condone any of the beliefs discussed in that chat room"
Published May 11, 2021Actor LaKeith Stanfield has apologized for his participation in and moderation of a discussion on audio-based social media app Clubhouse that included anti-Semitic remarks, writing he condemns "hate speech and discriminatory views of every kind."
"Yesterday I entered an online chat room on Clubhouse about the teachings of Louis Farrakhan," Stanfield wrote in an apology posted to Instagram last Friday (May 7). "When the room's participants noticed me, I was quickly made a moderator of this room.
"At some point during the dialogue the discussion took a very negative turn when several users made abhorrent anti-Semitic statements and at that point, I should have either shut down the discussion or removed myself from it entirely."
He continued: "I condemn hate speech and discriminatory views of every kind. I unconditionally apologize for what went on in that chat room, and for allowing my presence there to give a platform to hate speech. I am not an anti-Semite nor do I condone any of the beliefs discussed in that chat roorm [sic]."
Also on Friday, The Daily Beast reported that the chatroom in question was a continuation of another room that had been shut down by a moderator due to offensive anti-Semitic remarks, which included references to Louis Farrakhan — the leader of the Nation of Islam who has been criticized throughout his decades-long tenure for public anti-Semitic statements.
The Daily Beast reported that second room, of which Stanfield was made a moderator, was titled "Someone Ended the Room About Farrakhan." Speaking with the site, a Jewish woman who had been involved in the chat and asked to remain anonymous shared how it "was a shame" that Stanfield "entered the room and that he decided the position of a moderator was the correct role for him within the space."
"His reputation being on that stage was on the line," she said of Stanfield. "Twitter was watching and he was not calling out the anti-Semitism that was happening. Seventy-nine thousand people had the ability to come into a space where Hitler rhetoric was being used because he was in the room. Seventy-nine thousand people had the ability to come into a room where they were using the words of Farrakhan and saying it was OK against the Jewish people."
The Daily Beast's report added that Stanfield took part in another Clubhouse chat moderated by Jewish educators, who addressed the detrimental rhetoric. It was reported that during the chat, the actor acknowledged that he needed to pay "attention to what is actually being discussed," as a moderator, "and determine if that's a discussion that you really want to get into."
Find Stanfield's apology below.
Recently, he received an Oscar nomination for his starring role in Judas and the Black Messiah, starred in Flying Lotus' Yasuke anime and is currently shooting Atlanta's third season with Donald Glover.