Saturday Night Live viewers have criticised the long-running sketch series for announcing Dave Chappelle as their new guest host.

The ‘comedian’ was confirmed to host the 12 November episode over the weekend, with hip-hop duo Black Star as its musical guests.

Earlier this year, Chappelle came under fire after declaring himself a “TERF” in his comedy special for Netflix, The Closer, where he also defended JK Rowling’s transphobic comments.

“They cancelled J.K. Rowling — my god. [Effectively] she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as shit, they started calling her a TERF,” Chappelle said.

The term “TERF” references “trans-exclusionary radical feminists” whose views are widely seen as transphobic.

After making “jokes” about the bodies of trans women, he went on to say: “Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact.”

Despite his aforementioned comments, Chappelle then claimed that he’s not saying “trans women aren’t women” and that “people who watch his specials would know that I never had a problem with transgender people”.

The “comedy” special received intense backlash online. Jameela Jamil, Gigi Gorgeous and Dear White People showrunner Jaclyn Moore criticised Chappelle for his “jokes” and Netflix for allowing such transphobic rhetoric on their platform.

Netflix’s trans staff and their allies subsequently staged a company-wide walkout in protest of the special, as well as the streamer’s handling of the situation.

Photo: Netflix

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, previously defended their decision to air the programme. In a leaked staff memo, he insisted that “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm”, emphasising “artistic freedom”.

In a later interview with Deadline, however, Sarandos said he “screwed up the internal communication” and should’ve “made sure to recognise that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made”.

As a result of his homophobic and transphobic views, SNL fans objected to Chappelle’s involvement with the show.

“Having Dave Chappelle host SNL again is a slap in the face to trans people, including one of their own new cast members. What the hell Lorne?!” said one viewer, while another wrote: “Ugh why is #SNL bringing back Dave Chappelle again? So he can make more transphobic jokes?” 

A life-long fan of SNL said having Chappelle as host “is not the move” and referenced Molly Kearney, who was recently announced as the show’s first out non-binary cast member: “You have your first non-binary cast member ever and then you book an proud and open transphobe. What a disappointment.”

Check out the reactions below.