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Noah Schnapp’s Controversies: Racial Slur Scandal, Apology Over Israel-Hamas War Comments and More

Noah Schnapps Controversies Racial Slur Scandal Apology Over Israel Hamas War Comments and More
Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

Noah Schnapp has made headlines for his career highs — as well as his personal lows.

The actor appeared in several movies such as Bridge of Spies and The Peanuts Movie before getting his big break in 2016 as Will Byers on Netflix’s Stranger Things. His scene-stealing performance earned him an upgrade to series regular for the second season and Schnapp’s character has continued to play a crucial role on the show.

Schnapp grew his filmography with roles on the big screen in Abe, Waiting for Anya, Hubie Halloween and The Tutor.

After getting accepted into the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Schnapp ventured into entrepreneurship by launching a sustainability-focused snacking company called To Be Honest. He also launched TenderFix, which is a delivery-only virtual restaurant brand.

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Before Stranger Things wrapped up its five-season run on Netflix, Schnapp discussed how his experience of playing Will inspired his coming out journey. (Schnapp came out as gay via a TikTok video in February 2023.)

“Once I did fully embrace that Will was gay, it was just an exponential speed towards accepting it for myself,” he told Variety in August 2023 after confirming that Will is gay as well. “I would be in a completely different place if I didn’t have Will to portray, and to embrace and help me accept myself. I think if I never played that character, I probably would still be closeted.”

Despite being catapulted to fame as a child, Schnapp has faced major setbacks such as a racial slur scandal and his comments about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Scroll down for a look back at Schnapp’s most controversial moments:

Denies Using the N-Word

Noah Schnapps Controversies Racial Slur Scandal Apology Over Israel Hamas War Comments and More
Courtesy of Netflix

In 2020, a video resurfaced of Schnapp and his friends singing Chris Brown’s verse in Lil Dicky’s song “Freaky Friday.” Fans took to X to make #NoahSchnappIsOverParty a trending topic after accusing Schnapp of not censoring the N-word while singing along to the track.

Schnapp took to his Instagram Stories to set the record straight, writing, “Hi guys. recently a video from last summer has gotten out of me dancing and singing a song while singing the word ‘neighbor’ over the n word. i would truly never say the n word and i’m not the type of person. I genuinely have never used that word in my life. using the word ‘neighbor’ in that song was just something my camp friends and i did.”

He continued: “I hope you all understand i could never even think about doing that. my friends also would never post a video, or support me, if i was saying that slur without hesitation. i apologize for using a replacement word. it is not my place to use one and i should of [sic] kept my mouth shut. i understand why it is found offensive and i am so sorry.”

Two months prior, Schnapp shared a series of candid posts via X addressing his followers after coming under fire for being friends with someone who ran a controversial fan page on Instagram. He clarified he was on good terms with costar Millie Bobby Brown despite the since-deactivated Instagram fan page shaming the actress on the account.

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Put Doja Cat’s Crush on Joseph Quinn on Blast

Noah Schnapps Controversies Racial Slur Scandal Apology Over Israel Hamas War Comments and More
Noah Schnapp, Doja Cat, Joseph Quinn Pierre Suu/GC Images;ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images;Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty Images(3)

Schnapp made headlines in May 2022 when he posted a TikTok video that showed an exchange he had with Doja Cat about her crush on his costar Joseph Quinn.

In the since-deleted screenshots, the singer allegedly wrote, “Noah can you tell Joseph to hmu? Wait no. Does he have a girlfriend?” In response, Schnapp replied that Doja should “slide into his DMs.”

After the post went viral, Doja slammed Schnapp for sharing their private conversation on social media.

“First, let’s try to be chill about it,” she said during an Instagram Live two months later, adding that she “didn’t feel comfortable” with Schnapp’s decision to post their DMs. “To be fair, this is, like, a kid. Noah, I don’t know how old he is, but he’s not even, like, over 21. When you’re that young, you make mistakes, you do dumb s–t. I’m trying to be super fair.”

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She added: “You make mistakes [when you’re young]. You’re supposed to do stuff like that so that you know not to do it in the future. I did my share of f–k-ups so that I don’t f–k up again. … But the fact that Noah did that, like, went and posted a private conversation between me and him is so unbelievably, like, socially unaware and whack. That’s like borderline snake s–t. That’s like weasel s–t.”

Schnapp clarified that he and Doja addressed their problems privately, writing via a TikTok comment, “Guys everything is all good I apologized and I still follow her and love her music no hard feelings ❤️❤️.”

That same month, Schnapp reflected on how the situation played out in the public eye.

“I’m super unserious on social media and pretty goofy, so I posted that not thinking too much of it, but obviously it hurt her feelings. So, as I should, I apologized and she was totally OK with it, and was like, ‘I’m sorry how I reacted,'” he told Variety. “It was all good. I love her. I’m like the biggest fan of her music, and I told her that. I was like, ‘You’re literally my role model.’ It’s all good. People make such a big deal out of everything when it’s on the internet, but, like, in reality, it’s like a two minute thing.”

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His Political Statements

Noah Schnapps Controversies Racial Slur Scandal Apology Over Israel Hamas War Comments and More
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Schnapp faced online backlash in January 2024 after a clip emerged of him filming people who were holding “Zionism is sexy” stickers. (Schnapp, who is Jewish, previously was accused of “liking” a social media post that mocked Palestinians in Gaza as well.)

He addressed the drama as some fans called for either a boycott on the fifth and final season of Stranger Things or for Schnapp to be fired.

“I feel like my thoughts and beliefs have been so far misconstrued from anything even close to what I believe, and I wanted to just state from my heart how I feel,” Schnapp said in a TikTok video that same month. “I only want peace and safety and security for all innocent people affected by this conflict. I’ve had many open discussions with friends from Palestinian background, and I think those are very important conversations to have and I’ve learned a lot.”

Schnapp said he had several takeaways from the conversations taking place.

“We all hope for the same things, that being those innocent people still being held hostage in Gaza to be returned to their families, and equally hope for an end to the loss of innocent life in Palestine —so many of those people being women and children, and it’s horrible to see. I think anyone with any ounce of humanity would hope for an end to the hostility on both sides,” he continued. “I stand against any killing of any innocent people and I hope you guys all do, too.”

He concluded: “And I just hope to one day see those two groups be able to live harmoniously together in that region. And I hope for 2024 online to see people be a little more understanding and compassionate and recognize that we’re all human, regardless of our race, of our ethnicity, of our background, of our country of birth, even our sexuality, of anything. We are all human and we’re all the same and we should all love each other for that and support each other and stand together.”

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