In SummaryDave Chappelle has been uninvited from a fundraiser being held in his honor at the high school he graduated from, but in typical Chappelle fashion, he doesn’t seem to care very much.
Dave Chappelle was uninvited from a fundraiser event at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., the high school he graduated from many years ago—but apparently, he never wanted to attend anyway.
While Chappelle’s recent projects include a documentary that captures the fear and economic devastation of COVID-19 and America “being punished for its mistreatment of Black men” following the murder of George Floyd—the fundraiser event was canceled in light of controversy surrounding the comedian and comments he made in his recent Netflix special The Closer.
In the special, Chappelle made offensive and explicit comments about the LGBT community, specifically trans women, in which he referenced their genitals as “Beyond P—y or Impossible P—y,” BNC previously reported. He also defended the rapper DaBaby and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for offensive remarks they made in the past.
“They’re canceling stuff I didn’t even want to do,” Chappelle said of the fundraiser, per IndyStar’s Rory Appleton. “If you think you’re mad at me, remember, I didn’t disinvite you from anything.”
The event was timed to coincide with the institution honoring Chappelle, whom they described as “one of our most distinguished alumni” by dedicating their theatre after him in April 2022.
In a statement, Duke Ellington said one of their university’s founders proposed the renaming, recognizing the current and future impact of the comedian’s work and influence would raise the school’s profile, expand opportunities and provide critical fundraising support for the school’s arts-based curriculum’s sustainability.
Complex’s Brad Callas reported many students were “uncomfortable” with Chappelle’s participation and were considering staging a walkout, but the institution decided to cancel the event entirely.
“We will lean into this moment as a community. We have engaged in listening sessions with our students and have allowed space for diverse viewpoints,” the university’s statement read. “We are committed to fostering a community where every individual feels both heard and supported. Those conversations are ongoing.”
They went on to say they’ve expanded their Social Studies curriculum to include lessons on political activism, civic engagement, arts activism, and the intersections of racism, gender and sexuality.