No joke: Dave Chappelle flips script, says DC school theater won’t be named after him
Dave Chappelle defied expectations at a dedication event on Monday by announcing that a theater set that will be named after him at a school in Washington, DC, will ultimately not be named after him.
A theater at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts will not be called the “Dave Chappelle Theater” as expected. Instead, it will be called the “Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression,” Chappelle told the crowd, citing recent student criticism of his Netflix special. Closeraccording to FOX 5.
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Chappelle, who graduated from the school in 1991, said he made the decision on Friday after considering the backlash he received from current students over the Netflix special, which he greeted a masterpiece.”
Activists and social media users have called on Netflix to remove it from the streaming service for jokes Chappelle made about the transgender community.
TOMORROW at 7:30 p.m.! Join us for The Excellence of Ellington: An Evening with Dave Chappelle!
This event also kicks off our Million Dollar Challenge fundraiser – Click here to learn more and buy tix: https://t.co/E2S3p7s1a6 pic.twitter.com/lBlVX7DgX0
— Duke Ellington School of the Arts (@DukeEllingtonDC) June 19, 2022
Chappelle returned to his alma mater last November to discuss his special, where a question-and-answer session with students got somewhat tumultuous. At one point, a student shouted, “Your comedy kills,” as reported Policy.
“These kids don’t understand that they were instruments of artistic oppression,” Chappelle said at the event on Monday. “The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it.”
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Flyers for Monday night’s event circulated as recently as Sunday said the theater would be named after Chappelle.
“On June 20, DESA will name the Ellington Performing Arts Theater after one of its most famous alumni – comedian and actor Dave Chappelle. The event will include an unveiling, theatrical dedication and a production filled with surprises for Dave and the audience. The nomination comes in recognition of his continued commitment and service to the school and his advocacy for the arts,” reads a website for the renowned theater.
The Washington Examiner contacted the Duke Ellington School of the Arts for comment.