Last week, we reported on Amy Schumer’s series of vile posts, some comparing all Gazans to rapists. The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 10,000, with the UN referring to the warzone as a “children’s graveyard.”
She accused people pushing back or calling for an end to the ongoing bombing of Palestinian civilians of antisemitism, even though thousands of Jewish protesters have taken these humanitarian stances.
At the time, we noted how Stranger Things actor Noah Schnapp had disappointed fans by cheering on Schumer against the “haters.”
Now, Schnapp is under fire again for liking some truly horrific posts — most notably, a cringe skit that manages to be both Islamophobic and queerphobic at the same time.
The red flags have been up for weeks
As several social media users have joked, the Demogorgon that took Will Byers may have had the right idea.
The Stranger Things actor who portrays that character seems to have gone off the deep end in recent weeks.
For most, the first warning sign was when he applauded Amy Schumer’s horrific posts. It was, at best, absolutely tone deaf.
Sometimes, people cheer on their friends (or favorite stars, or whatever) even when they’re wrong.
Additionally, celebrity culture tends to adopt a “toxic positivity” mindset. It lumps body-shaming trolls into the same group as people with constructive criticism or honest pushback. And it labels them all “haters.”
That’s why Schumer suggested that people opposed to the ethnic cleansing in Gaza simply don’t find her attractive. And perhaps it’s why Schnapp was so eager to cheer her on.
This is more than rubbing elbows with Schumer
Schnapp seems to be going further than that, however. Like Schumer, he appears to be willfully conflating protests against the deadly bombing of homes, hospitals, and a university with antisemitism.
It is absolutely true that antisemitism spikes when Israel is in the news. And, certainly, white nationalists have attempted to insert themselves into the narrative by condemning Israel. For all of the wrong reasons.
But it is dishonest to pretend that all or most or even a substantial portion of protesters are doing so out of antisemitism. Especially because white nationalists do not mourn the Gazan dead. They just also hate Jews, and hope to pin war crimes committed by the few onto an entire demographic.
It’s clear that Schnapp understands that, no, the face of people opposing the slaughter of Palestinians in their homes and hospitals aren’t Nazis.
His “likes” make that clear enough.
On Sunday, an author by the name of Noa Tishby shared a deeply offensive “satirical” skit on Instagram. The video depicts a fake news show with clearly LGBTQ+ interviewers speaking to a grotesquely offensive strawman who is meant to represent Hamas.
A bigoted skit
The two chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” an aspirational rhyme that calls for Palestinian liberation from apartheid.
This pair of interviewers quip that “everyone is welcome, LGBTQH…” making it clear that the “H” stands for Hamas.
They interview a fake member of Hamas, seemingly not understanding as he threatens to kill them as “infidels.”
It’s the sort of evil, racist nonsense that you’d see in 2002 in the wake of 9/11.
But it’s 2023 and people are still doing it.
All that’s changed is video quality — and the tone of the homophobia has changed to be less direct and more insidious.
The call is coming from inside the house
Which does make it extra weird that Noah Schnapp, who came out as gay less than one year ago, is sharing this.
Internalized homophobia isn’t just for folks who are in the closet. And even within the LGBTQ+ community, queerphobia can be a huge problem.
You know how a woman with internalized misogyny might say “I’m not like other girls” or “girls are just too much drama!” Well, there are folks in the LGBTQ+ community with similarly cringe takes.
Unfortunately, many marginalized communities have these issues. It’s so easy to disparage each other while begging for crumbs of respect from bigots.
And it looks like Schnapp either likes this stereotype of LGBTQ+ folks — or was happy to ignore it while enjoying the Islamophobia.
We regret to inform you that this is not the end of Schnapp’s tasteless Instagram activity.
Ben Shapiro is one of the most outspoken (and all-around unpleasant) voices in just about any sort of political discourse.
Shapiro is also the architect of a lot of anti-LGBTQ+ discourse. He promotes outright bigotry and fearmongering.
Under any circumstances, Schnapp sharing (and thus endorsing) a video by this wretched little man would be disappointing at best. The context — the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza — makes it much worse. And it’s also wildly hypocritical.
The “point” of the cringe satirical video that Schnapp apparently liked so much was that people were supporting people who would dislike them, or would be their enemies.
It’s also totally hypocritical and shows zero self-awareness on Schnapp’s part. So let’s break it down.
Painting Muslims as automatically homophobic is bigoted — and a lie
Random LGBTQ+ people in the US (or other Americans) are not “enemies” of the people of Gaza. Palestinians are just people — people who have lived under apartheid and increasingly cruel rule in their own country for generations.
Implying that all of the people of Gaza are homophobic and would not appreciate the vocal support of Westerners is absurd. Saying that they “must” be homophobic because they are Muslim is Islamophobic.
This video that Schnapp liked so much seems to be an effort to blur the lines between Hamas and the rest of the citizens for Hamas. And to reduce sympathy for the victims of the bombing campaign by portraying them as violent bigots.
Also, it’s great to remember that there are LGBTQ+ people in Gaza. Many thousands of them. Fewer of them, now.
A mournful post that we saw last month, from a Palestinian man in Gaza who wrote that the love of his life had died. And that, without him, he would not leave his home and just let the IDF kill him, too. That post will haunt us all for a while.
Not to mention that, in the past couple of weeks, the IDF has almost certainly slaughtered more LGBTQ+ people than Hamas has since its inception.
Look into the mirror
There is another thing to point out: the skit that Schnapp seemed to enjoy was saying that people shouldn’t be cheering on their “enemies.”
But the Stranger Things actor was doing exactly that when he posted and thus endorsed Shapiro. Shapiro is unequivocally opposed to Schnapp’s rights as a gay man. He has made a career of it.
Maybe that won’t get the same malicious laughter that the early-seasons-Always-Sunny looking Islamophobic video elicited, but it’s true. We wish that Schnapp had chosen to be a better person.