Students at Washington’s D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts reportedly felt uncomfortable naming a theater after Dave Chappelle following the release of comedian’s controversial Netflix stand-up special, The Closer.
Last week, the alma mater of Dave Chappelle postponed a fundraiser for a school theater named after the comedian when current students threatened to protest the event in response to his new stand-up special, The Closer.
In a statement from the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, administrators detailed how the school would use the time between the original date of the fundraiser– initially scheduled for November 23rd — and the rescheduled April 22nd, 2022, date to address the concerns of their student body and faculty. “As a learning institution that champions inclusivity, diversity, equity and belonging, we care deeply about protecting the well-being and dignity of every member of our student body, faculty and community,” the school wrote. “Moving forward with the event, originally scheduled for November 23, 2021, without first addressing questions and concerns from members of the Ellington community, would be a missed opportunity for a teachable moment,” they added.
But it seems the comedian isn’t terribly bothered by the school’s delay of the event or what caused it. According to the Indy Star, in a short set following the screening of his new documentary at a theater in Indianapolis, Chappelle brushed off the school’s decision and alluded to having his invitation to the fundraiser revoked. “They’re canceling stuff I didn’t even want to do,” the comedian said. “If you think you’re mad at me — remember, I didn’t disinvite you from anything,” Chappelle continued before once again asserting it’s not the trans community that has fueled the uproar surrounding the transphobic and homophobic material in The Closer. Chappelle even instructed the crowd to offer members of the LGBTQ community olive branches on his behalf. “If you see (a trans person), buy them a coffee or lipstick or whatever they want and tell them Dave Chappelle sent you.”