As Shadow And Act reported earlier, the Atlanta and Judas and the Black Messiah actor has recently come under fire for participating in a Clubhouse room that spewed anti-Semitic hate speech. Stanfield, who was made a moderator, was criticized for not doing more to stop the hate speech, which included speakers comparing Jewish people to termites. Stanfield has since put out several statements “unconditionally” apologizing for being in the room.
Stanfield reiterated that he was only in the room because he wanted to learn more about Louis Farrakhan and his views, but that he doesn’t have solidarity with him.
“I definitely don’t align myself with Louis Farrakhan, I don’t stand by him,” he said. “Any kind of hate speech, I vehemently reject. That’s not up for debate, hate is not up for debate.”
“I condemn hate speech and discriminator views of any kind,” he continued. “…Me going into the room, it was more about trying to uncover more information about these things that [Farrakhan] said or didn’t say, because I wasn’t quite clear on it.”
Even though Stanfield went in only to listen, he was made a moderator once he raised his hand to ask a question. He called the room “chaotic” with “a couple of [incindiary] outbursts,” but he also said that “…for the most part, one outburst would happen and then the conversation would kind of go back into a normal rhythm.” He also said that most of the anti-Semitic tirades happened after he stepped away from his phone.
“I was really caught off guard,” Stanfield said about being chastised for being a room moderator, “because first of all, I didn’t host the room. But I also didn’t feel that the conversation was really headed in a direction that was completely attacking Jewish people. At that point, I thought there were still people saying their points and then other people saying other points. So I explained to her that I know that this is a very tense and emotional conversation to have, and I just want everyone to have the time to be able to engage in conversation. So that was part of me trying to moderate this conversation that was happening.”
Stanfield said in the interview that he now believes there were ways he could have handled the situation better, such as using his moderator privileges to shut down the conversation or take himself out of the room. He has also admitted that Clubhouse isn’t a place that is always conducive to learning about certain topics, saying, “Clubhouse is not a place that you want to go.”
“It doesn’t qualify for a place that can teach people accurately about things. At it’s best, it’s a place that allows for conversation and allows people to come to understand viewpoints that they may or may not have been aware of,” he said. “At its worst, it develops into rooms that facilitate things like what happened in this incident.”
Stanfield also said he’s going to be more careful on social media and become more aware of the platform and responsibility he has.
“I’m being careful as I move forward, to make sure I’m expressing the things that I really feel, and that I can’t even be put in a situation where it can be misconstrued or be situated next to things that don’t reflect how I actually feel.”
Stanfield has since scrubbed his Instagram clean save for three posts–one regarding the filming of season 3 of FX’s Atlanta, another about his voice acting on Netflix animated series Yasuke, and the most recent about why he has left social media.
“Taking a break from this social media. I’d advise you all to do the same at least for a little while,” he wrote. “Too much of it isn’t healthy i don’t think. Just know that I’d never lie to secure my place in ‘Hollywood.’ if i say i don’t hate, it’s because i don’t. Hold your news sources accountable and think for yourselves. Talk soon.”
Several stars, including Just Mercy and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton, actors Rob Morgan and Carrie Bernans, NBA shooting coach Christopher Williams aka Lethal Shooter, Pose‘s Indya Moore, and others commented on Stanfield’s post, writing words of encouragement.
“You’re so loved! Don’t let nobody get to your head with unreasonable manipulative anti black bs,” Moore wrote. “Protect your peace.” Cretton left a series of heart emojis and Bernans left a black heart and “100” emojis. Williams wrote, “Be behind you brother,” with a brown fist emoji. “Take your time.” Morgan wrote, “Black Man,” with a brown fist and explosion emojis.