Santa Fe man who threw banana peel at Dave Chappelle insists he’s not racist — says he’s the real victim
A white, self-described “eccentric” Santa Fe man denied it was racist when he heckled black comedian Dave Chappelle by throwing a banana peel at him on stage.
In fact, Christian Englander said it was he who was victimized by Chappelle, who he claimed swore at him after the incident, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Englander, 31, has been charged with battery and disturbing the peace, both misdemeanors, according to the paper. He is accused of throwing the peel during a March performance at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe.
“To me, it wasn’t a violent act, and I never meant to hurt anyone,” Englander, who considers himself an artist and aspiring clown, told the paper. “In comedy, you get heckled. It seems to me that comes with the job. You heckle to engage. It puts the comedian on the edge. It puts them on their toes.”
He told the paper that after his performance, the world-famous Chappelle headed to the police station where Englander was taken to tell him throwing the peel was racist, and when Englander disagreed, Chappelle began hurling obscenities at him.
Englander has expressed interest in taking a plea deal to avoid a trial, though jury selection is currently set for September. His attorney, Roderick Thompson, said if Chappelle doesn’t testify, the case should be thrown out.
Englander threw yet another banana peel at a different African-American man in a scuffle that started when it became apparent the man, 39-year-old Jay Wills, was offended by the Chappelle incident.
Englander said he threw the second peel because “the irony of this situation is too much to pass up, and I probably should’ve just let it be,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
In an April interview with KRQE, Englander can be seen peeling and eating a banana as he discusses throwing the peel at Chappelle. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that while trying to interview Englander about the second incident, he would often go off on tangents. There were “a couple” banana peels outside his front door, according to the paper.
Watch the interview with Englander, via KRQE, here: