Dave Chappelle. (Getty/ Sean Rayford)
Comedian Dave Chappelle, who is absolutely, definitely a victim of “cancel culture”, is set to have a theatre named after him.
Chappelle has face immense backlash over his “jokes” mocking trans people in his Netflix special The Closer, which prompted a Netflix walkout in protest against CEO Ted Sarandos’s handling of the controversy.
But, despite the comedian repeatedly decrying so-called “cancel culture”, Chappelle’s former school, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, is moving ahead with plans to name its theatre after him.
According to The Hill, the renaming of the school theatre was postponed in November because of complaints from students, but will officially go ahead in April next year.
The school said in statement: “On 22 April, 2022, we will celebrate one of our most distinguished alumni, Dave Chappelle, by naming our theatre in his honour.
“This theatre naming was the desire of one of our founders, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, who recognised Chappelle as an important thought leader of our time.”
Specifically addressing The Closer, the school said that the special had “sparked a national debate around race, gender, sexuality and ‘cancel culture’”.
It said that while it “champions inclusivity, diversity, equity, and belonging”, going ahead with the renaming of the theatre would constitute a “teachable moment”.
“We will lean into this moment as a community,” it continued.
“We have engaged in listening sessions with our students and have allowed space for diverse viewpoints.
“We are committed to fostering a community where every individual feels both heard and supported.
“Those conversations are ongoing… We recognise that not everyone will accept or welcome a particular artist’s point of view, product or craft, but reject the notion that a ‘cancel culture’ is a healthy or constructive means to teach our students how society should balance creative freedom with protecting the rights and dignity of all its members.”
Dave Chappelle was called a ‘bigot’ by a 16-year-old when he last visited the school
Last month, Dave Chappelle visited the Duke Ellington School of the Arts for a fundraiser, and after he addressed students, a question and answer session got heated.
One student called the comedian a “bigot”, and added: “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”
Another told Chappelle: “Your comedy kills.”
But Chappelle responded to the students: “I’m better than every instrumentalist, artist, no matter what art you do in this school, right now, I’m better than all of you.
“I’m sure that will change. I’m sure you’ll be household names soon.”