Famed comedian Dave Chappelle went from being a man once applauded for turning down $50 million based on integrity to most recently dodging beef with the LGBTQIA+ community for his right to tell the jokes he wants, transphobic as they may come off.
Following the delay of a theater renaming at his old high school in response to student protests in reaction to the controversy, The Closer comic has decided to instead rescind the invitation to have his name appear at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Last night’s ceremony at Ellington Arts (seen above) was supposed to be the official unveiling and dedication of the Dave Chappelle Theatre. Instead, the comedian himself announced during the event that plans had changed and that it would now be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. According TMZ, Chappelle made mention of being “sincerely hurt” by the backlash he received from students about The Closer. As reported back in October 2021, the Netflix standup special received almost immediate pushback due to jokes Chappelle made where he claimed to be “team TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) in addition to poking fun at the womanhood of trans women by highlighting their inability to have menstrual cycles. It even led some Netflix employees to organize a company-wide walkout, which some even believe played a role in the mass amount of layoffs at the streaming giant last month.
That negative energy unfortunately followed him when he paid a visit to Ellington Arts last November to speak on the honorific gesture. As he began receiving criticism, one student who he invited to speak actually called him a bigot before saying, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish.” He originally accepted their requests to have his name not be added to the theater under one condition: raise money for the school and sell more than his supporters.
Although his supporters eventually sold more, it looks like Chappelle saw the bigger picture and had a change of heart. Did he make the right decision though? Sound off with your thoughts and let us know.
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Dave Chappelle Turns Down Theater Renaming At Alma Mater Amid Student Protests was originally published on blackamericaweb.com