A Saturday Night Live Boycott? Rumors Are Swirling Ahead Of Dave Chappelle's Upcoming Episode

To be expected, midterm elections across the U.S. took over social media, TV and beyond, and we’ll all be living in the aftermath until the next cycle begins. Also to be expected, Saturday Night Live announced that the controversy-courting stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle would be taking center stage as guest host for the first episode to follow Election Day, marking his third post-voting appearance. But this time, there are more rumors than usual floating around indicating some behind-the-scenes turmoil over SNL inviting the outspoken comic back following multiple backlashes tied to his act still containing jokes about the transgender community.

According to Page Six, some SNL staff writers have been the polar opposite of pleased in the days following the reveal that Dave Chappelle will return to 30 Rockefeller Center to host the November 12 episode, with Black Star serving as the musical guest. While no one has had much negativity to direct at the hip-hop duo’s inclusion, some of the writers are reportedly aiming to sit this episode out. Though that doesn’t mean audiences should expect to see anyone from this season’s cast ducking their duties.

Here’s what the insider had to say:

They’re not going to do the show. But none of the actors are boycotting.

Assuming these rumors have any merit to them, it’s not so hard to grasp why none of the actors would be interested in skipping out on the show, considering there are quite a few up-and-coming comedians in the mix amidst the stalwart stars. But it’s quite a bit easier for members of the writing team to take a stand in such a way, since they’re not publicity magnets on the same scale. 

While no one from Saturday Night Live appears to have commented on the angry writers rumor, the show’s social media has been quite busy in the past 24 hours, posting an assortment of promotional pics and videos for Chappelle’s next ep. Not only the actual promo for the ep, as seen below, but also shots from the behind-the-scenes script read-thrus like this:

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From everything that’s been shared so far, it doesn’t outwardly appear as if there’s rampant unhappiness going on backstage. Which could be the entire purpose of posting shots of Chappelle’s big toothy smile, but until one or more of the writers speaks up themselves, this rumor may not carry much weight. 

That said, the comments below the pics on Instagram and elsewhere are flooded with followers saying they won’t be watching the episode due to Dave Chappelle’s presence, which is a marked turn from how the majority of viewers felt when he first guest-hosted back in 2016. It should be interesting to see how the ratings from this episode stack up against not only prior eps this season, but to Chappelle’s own hosting spots in the past. 

Check out the latest SNL TV promo below! 

Will Dave Chappelle bring up his on-stage attack from earlier this year? Will he talk about his respective friendships with Will Smith and Chris Rock? Be sure to watch the episode (if you want) when SNL hits NBC on Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. ET. While waiting, you can watch Chappelle and many other excellent stand-up specials currently streaming with a Netflix subscription.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.