Judas and the Black Messiah and Yasuke star LaKeith Stanfield has issued a lengthy apology for moderating a Clubhouse room in which some members said anti-Semitic rhetoric.
"Yesterday I entered an online chat room on Clubhouse bout the teachings of Louis Farrakhan. When the room's participants noticed me, I was quickly made a moderator of this room," he wrote in an Instagram post, as reported by Complex. "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."
"I condemn hate speech and discriminatory views of every kind," he continued. "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."
The news came to light May 7 on The Daily Beast with an article outlining some of the responses people within the room had to the rhetoric and Stanfield's seeming noncomittal attitude towards ending the room or kicking out the people espousing the harmful statements.
Kareem Rifai, whow as in the room when it happened, told The Daily Beast he was "sick" at some of what he heard, which included pro-Hitler talking points and comparing Jewish people to termites, among other racist views.
"I'm not even Jewish. I'm an ally to Jewish people and I was there for my Jewish friends who were there becuase I'm sure it was very traumatic for them," he said. "Honestly, I can't describe it...I felt sick to my stomach for most of it. Some of the things that were said were worse than things I've read or heard neo-Nazis saying. It was insane."
Rifai also recounted that when a Jewish woman asked Stanfield why he was taking part in the room, Stanfield reportedly side-stepped responsibility.
"He told her, 'This is probably an emotional kind of room for you, tensions are running high, and I understand this is a very heated room.' Then he just kind of danced around it not really saying anything."
"...The fact that he sat in that room for hours on end, making it available to thousands and thousands of people on their Clubhouse feed, it's irresponsible," he continued.
Along with his apology on Instagram, Stanfield also apologized in Clubhouse, saying that he was brought to the stage because of his stardom.
"I attempted to try and moderate the conversations so that one could be had," he said in a video sent to The Daily Beast editor Marlow Stern on Twitter. It wasn't a place where it was like a bunch of hate on Jewish people and the way it's being written [is] that I just stood idly by and let that happen. That's not what happened."
"With that being said, I still want to apologize for the fact that my sheer prsence caused a lot ofpeople to have to be privy to those kinds of comments, even though that's not what I intended. It's sometimes just by virtue of you having a large following that these kinds of things can happen...I never would espouse this kind of rhetoric."
Here's LaKeith Stanfield's explanation for moderating an anti-Semitic Clubhouse room (this was sent to me): pic.twitter.com/gjjyh6orkk
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) May 9, 2021