Comedian Rob Schneider says he has cancelled an upcoming visit to Canada in light of last week’s incident in which a Ukrainian veteran who fought with a Nazi unit in the Second World War was given a standing ovation in the House of Commons.
The tribute, which has sparked international condemnation, occurred on Friday during an official visit from Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy. House Speaker Anthony Rota stated during his speech that a veteran was present who had “fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians,” prompting applause from the entire room.
Over the weekend it emerged that the division 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka had fought for was a volunteer unit under Nazi command.
Rota resigned on Tuesday, expressing “profound regret for my error.” He had explained in an earlier apology on Monday that he invited Hunka and that no one else had been aware of the intended tribute ahead of time.
Schneider, whose father is Jewish, said in a post on social media that the incident was “beyond the pale,” and that he had cancelled his trip to Canada in response.
The 59-year-old comedian and actor expressed disbelief in several posts on X, formerly Twitter, that the incident had occurred at all.
“This guy fought for Hitler! Not like what we call people Hitler today. THEE Hitler! Like in actual Adolf Hitler,” he wrote.
Schneider also stated that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “tyranny” in relation to “peaceful trucker protestors,” was “insignificant” compared to this recent incident, seemingly referring to the convoy which occupied Ottawa in early 2022 for three weeks in protest of COVID-19 public health measures, leading to dozens of arrests.
The former Saturday Night Live cast member has also come under fire previously for his anti-vaccine comments, referring to the COVID-19 vaccine in one 2021 post as “experimental gene therapy.”