Forty-eight hours out from Michelle Wolf’s biting comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner, there’s been plenty of backlash among some journalists and political figures in Washington, D.C.
Several people — including journalists Mike Allen of Axios and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times — criticized Wolf on Twitter, saying some of her jokes had gone too far, and that she had personally and inappropriately insulted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to the president. Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union and organizer of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, said on Twitter that he and his wife, Mercedes, a Trump Administration official, walked out of the event. Margaret Talev, the head of the White House Correspondents Association, said Wolf’s comments undercut the spirit of the evening.
But a number of comedians — including Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Kathy Griffin — have come to Wolf’s defense, saying she is a comedian and did what she was paid to do. In an interview with the PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown in San Francisco, comedian Dave Chappelle also backed Wolf, saying he “really respected” what he saw, and that there was both levity and truth in her routine.
“I don’t know who those people think they are that she can’t say that to them, cause they offend people all the time. And I think that for many people … it’s cathartic to watch that woman speak truth to power like that,” Chappelle said.
“I know how hard it is to do what she did … I think she nailed it,” Chappelle said. “Whether I agree with it or not, I gotta respect the artistry.”
Watch Chappelle’s full remarks in the player above. His full interview with Jeffrey Brown will air later this spring.