Recent Oscar nominee LaKeith Stanfield has issued an apology after co-moderating a Clubhouse discussion that turned anti-Semitic.
On the night of Wednesday, May 5, the 29-year-old Get Out actor joined a chat room on the social network in which several bigoted comments were made against Jewish people, The Daily Beast reported. Some users attempted to justify Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's remarks comparing Jews to termites, made in 2018. Other participants discussed late Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in a positive light, the news site also reported.
"Yesterday I entered an online chat room on ClubHouse about the teachings of Louis Farrakhan," Stanfield said in a statement to E! News on 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 room."
LaKeith also shared the statement on Instagram and disabled the comments on the post.
The Daily Beast reported that on Thursday, May 6, a day after the controversial discussion, Stanfield joined a different Clubhouse chat, which was moderated by a panel of Jewish educators who wanted to address the hate speech they had witnessed.
"It's been a crazy couple 48 hours," the outlet quoted the Atlanta actor as telling the participants. "I've been in a couple rooms where a lot of s--t has been discussed and talked about, very heightened emotional states. It's been very enlightening and interesting to me, I never really knew that this debate existed in this way about identity, the origins of Judaism in Jewishness, and how many different interpretations there are different things, whether or not it's a religion and ethno-religion or what it is a faith race."
He also acknowledged that in choosing to be a chat room moderator, he needs to pay "attention to what is actually being discussed and determine if that's a discussion that you really want to get into," The Daily Beast added.
Clubhouse has not commented on the controversy, which comes two weeks after the 2021 Oscars, in which Stanfield was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as an FBI informant in Judas and the Black Messiah. He lost to his co-star Daniel Kaluuya.