Dave Chappelle still can’t seem to get out from under the controversy generated by his latest special on Netflix, The Closer. The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Chappelle’s alumni, was set to host an event on Nov. 23 to raise funds for a new theater named after the comedian.
Now, in light of a potential student walkout and protest, the event has been seemingly canceled with a ceremony to name the theater officially announced for April 22, 2022.
“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 said in an official statement.
“We also believe 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.”
Chappelle, never one to take things sitting down, also responded to the cancellation at a recent show in Indianapolis. According to The Indianapolis Star, Chappelle said he, “can’t even raise money for children,” and that they’re, “canceling stuff I didn’t even want to do.”
He also continued to talk more about the controversy, which mostly surrounds things he said in The Closer that audiences found to be transphobic. “If anyone says trans people are angry at me, they are wrong. And if you see (a trans person), buy them a coffee or lipstick or whatever they want and tell them Dave Chappelle sent you.”
What do you think of the fundraising event no longer taking place? Will the specter of The Closer’s controversy continue to haunt Dave Chappelle for years to come? Let’s talk about it!