Dave Chappelle has been a long time supporter of his alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Georgetown, and has often credited the school with saving his life. Along with other notable alumni like Bradley Cooper and Chris Tucker, Chappelle regularly visits the campus and holds master classes. But following the backlash from his Netflix special, The Closer, the student body at Ellington have made it clear to administrators that Chappelle is not welcomed with open arms on the campus.
The stand-up comedian was scheduled to be honored during a fundraiser (to raise money for a theater named after him) on November 23, but the event was “quietly canceled” as a student revolt began to build behind the scenes. Via Politico:
Two students tell Playbook that their peers got into a heated debate with faculty after being told that they were expected to help assemble an exhibition to honor Chappelle on the same day as the fundraiser. With many of their classmates identifying as LGBTQ+, the students were uncomfortable supporting the comic, and some even talked about staging a walkout if the tribute went forward. Ellington ended up canceling the fundraiser, even though an invite had already been sent to multiple patrons.
While Chappelle has repeatedly embraced his new “canceled” status and boasted numerous times that he “loves” it, he notably took the time during one of his Netflix specials to visit Ellington because his experience at the school means that much to him. It will be interesting to see if being canceled by Ellington sparks a more open-minded response from the comedian, or if he’ll continue going down the J.K. Rowling path.