Actor LaKeith Stanfield found himself in some serious trouble with the Jewish community and is now responding to the backlash he faced.
On Wednesday (May 5), the Oscar-nominated actor who frequents the audio-only social network medium Clubhouse was called out after serving as a moderator for a discussion in a room where anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories were being floated around.
The trouble began for Stanfield when he was first spotted in a Clubhouse room titled Did Min. Farrakhan Tarnish His Legacy by Being Antisemitic?” Clubhouse subsequently shut down that room, but the conversation continued in another room called “Someone Ended the Room About Farrakhan,” and that’s where things got really interesting for Judas and The Black Messiah star who was serving as a moderator in the room with one person describing what they heard as the “worse than things that I’ve read or heard about neo-Nazis saying.”
The Nation of Islam religious leader is a very popular figure but at the same time is frequently called out for his blatant use of anti-Semitic statements that have led to him being banned from Facebook and suspended from Twitter on one occasion. At the time, Stanfield was not accused of spewing any anti-Semitic speech himself but rather his lack of action for not speaking out against it, seemingly flirting with antisemitism.
A report from The Daily Beast described how one Jewish woman confronted Stanfield and asked him why he allowed the hate speech to continue? The actor responded by saying he tried to remain neutral, but that explanation wasn’t enough with people questioning the fact he was in the room in the first place.
Stanfield has responded to the backlash and has apologized in a statement shared with TMZ:
“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. 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. 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.”
Before he issued an apology, Stanfield attended a Clubhouse room moderated by Jewish educators who wanted to address what they heard on Wednesday. To his credit, Stanfield admitted that he fell short as a moderator and that he needs to pay “attention to what is actually being discussed and determine if that’s a discussion that you really want to get into.” He also copped to lacking knowledge regarding “the origins of Judaism in Jewishness,” but said that he enjoys Clubhouse because he learns a lot from it.
“I’ve been in a couple rooms where a lot of s**t has been discussed and talked about, very heightened emotional states. It’s been very enlightening and interesting to me,” he revealed.
Those in the room well-received his explanation but still left many wondering on social media why he was in those questionable rooms in the first place, with some people really pondering where his head is at.
We truly hope LaKeith Stansfield did learn from this incident.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz83