Dave Chappelle has decided not to give his name to the student theater at his alma mater, Duke Ellington School of the Arts. The unexpected announcement came Monday during the theater’s dedication ceremony, where Chappell declined the honor last year amid controversy over his Netflix special, which many called transphobic. The special also earned comedian criticism from some of Ellington’s students.
To Washington PostChappell told the audience that while he felt the backlash against him was lacking in nuance and was not about his work, he did not want a theater named after him from students focusing on the meaning of his art. be distracted.
Chappelle chose not to name himself at the school site on Friday, but still attended the DC-area ceremony on Monday because, as he said during Monday’s event, “the Ellington family is my family.”
However, he noted that the criticism he received “sincerely” hurt him.
At the time of the controversy, the school’s principal, Sandy Logan, stated that she had formal and informal meetings with students to discuss Chappelle’s remarks, including weekly meetings a month with an advisory committee of student leaders made up of a group of students. was involved. Including representatives of the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance.
The theater’s christening, which was originally scheduled to take place last year, was postponed after a Netflix special, so that students could voice their concerns over Funnyman’s controversial comments.
“Proceeding with the event … will be a missed opportunity for a teachable moment without first addressing the questions and concerns of Ellington community members,” the school wrote in a statement at the time.
Chappelle was criticized after the release of his Netflix special, near, In that particular, Chappelle said that “gender is a fact,” adding, “every human in this room, every human being on earth had to pass through a woman’s feet to be on earth.” Chappelle also identified himself as “Team TERF,” which stands for Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminist, an ideology that singles out trans women as women.
Exclusive sparks, protests and even employee walkouts at the streaming giant. Chappelle will eventually say that he is willing to meet with the trans community, but only under certain conditions.
Watch the video below to learn more about how Chappelle addressed the trans community after his Netflix special.
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