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LaKeith Stanfield Apologizes for Moderating Anti-Semitic Clubhouse Chat

”I condemn hate speech and discriminatory views of every kind,“ actor writes

Academy-Award nominated “Judas and the Black Messiah” star LaKeith Stanfield has apologized for his participation in and moderation of a Clubhouse chat this week that included anti-Semitic remarks, saying 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. When the room’s participants noticed me, I was quickly made a moderator of this room,” the Oscar nominee said in a statement posted to Instagram on Friday. “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.”

The “Atlanta” star 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].”

According to a story published Friday by The Daily Beast, the Clubhouse chat room in question stemmed off of another room that had been shut down by a moderator due to offensive anti-Semitic remarks, including references to Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. The second room was titled, “Someone Ended the Room About Farrakhan.”

“I’m not even Jewish,” Kareem Rifai, who was in the second Clubhouse chat — the one during which Stanfield was made a moderator — told The Daily Beast. “I’m an ally to Jewish people and I was there for my Jewish friends who were there because I’m sure it was very traumatic for them. Honestly, I can’t describe it… I felt sick to my stomach for most of it.”

Rifai added: “Some of the things that were said were worse than things that I’ve read or heard about neo-Nazis saying, it was insane.”

A Jewish woman who had been involved in the chat and asked to remain anonymous told The Daily Beast 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. “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.”