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May 10, 2021 12:36 pm
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Oscar Nominee Apologizes for Participating in Antisemitic Chat on Clubhouse App

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A smartphone running the social media app Clubhouse. Photo: Marco Verch/Flickr.

Actor Lakeith Stanfield apologized for taking part in a discussion last week that turned antisemitic on the audio-based social media app Clubhouse.

The “Judas and the Black Messiah” star, 29, moderated on Wednesday night a chat room on the app in which numerous participants praised Hitler, and spewed antisemitic stereotypes and antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish people controlling the slave trade, the Daily Beast reported on Friday.

On Saturday, the Oscar nominee issued a statement on Instagram, saying that the discussion was originally about “the teachings of Louis Farrakhan,” the Nation of Islam leader and a notorious antisemite. Stanfield explained that when he entered the chat room, “the room’s participants noticed me, [and] I was quickly made a moderator of this room.”

He added, “At some point during the dialogue the discussion took a very negative turn when several users made abhorrent antisemitic statements and at that point, I should have either shut down the discussion of removed myself from it entirely. I condemn hate speech and discriminatory views of every kind.”

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Stanfield said he “unconditionally” apologizes for what transpired in the chat room “and for allowing my presence there to give a platform to hate speech.”

Following the incident Stanfield joined another Clubhouse discussion, moderated by a group of Jewish educators, that addressed the previous chat, according to the Daily Beast. He said the earlier conversation had been “derailed” and acknowledged that he should’ve paid “attention to what is actually being discussed, and determine if that’s a discussion that you really want to get into.”

Clubhouse, an invitation-only app, does not allow participants to record, transcribe, reproduce, or share conversations without permission. The app’s privacy policy said that Clubhouse rooms are recorded “solely for the purpose of supporting incident investigations.”

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