Chappelle's Honor from his DC High School Postponed Over Netflix Special

Sunday November 14, 2021

Dave Chappelle in his Netflix special "The Closer"
Dave Chappelle in his Netflix special "The Closer"  (Source:Netflix)

Dave Chappelle was to get an honor from the Washington DC high school he graduated from, but its current students have nixed the idea, at least for now, reports the Daily Mail.

"Students at a Washington, D.C. high school threatened to walk out if administrators went ahead with a planned fundraiser featuring one of its most famous alumni, Dave Chappelle, who has been accused of making anti-transgender comments," the publication writes. "But the school pushed back against 'cancel culture' - rescheduling the ceremony for April 22."

The school is to receive $100,000 from the controversial comedian whose latest Netflix special "The Closer" has angered trans activists who found the comic transphobic.

"A dedication was originally planned for Nov. 23. But the school said in a statement that 'moving forward with the event ... without first addressing questions and concerns from members of the Ellington Community would be a missed opportunity for a teachable moment,'" reports the Washington Post.

"Dave is an artist and activist and applauds the school taking time to develop creative and critical thinkers," Carla Sims, a representative for Chappelle, wrote in an email. "He supports the school and any effort to contribute to open conversations vs. cancellations."

"In an interview," the Post reports, "Duke Ellington Principal Sandi Logan said she has had both formal and informal meetings with students to discuss Chappelle's comments, including a month of weekly meetings with an "advisory committee" of student leaders that includes representatives from the school's Gender and Sexuality Alliance.?

"On our end, we just needed a little time to get our community to at least have the conversation — not to maybe change minds. That is never our objective," Logan said. "We needed that time to be able to get conversation and meaningful progress within the community, not a Band-Aid."

Some students at Duke Ellington, which has a large population of LGBTQ students, previously told The Washington Post that the decision to rename the theater — what some referred to as the heart of the school — for Chappelle made them feel uncomfortable.

Friday's announcement "is a loss because we didn't want the theater to be renamed after him, but it looks like the school is going to go forward with it anyway," sophomore Andrew Wilson, 16, said. "It makes me feel disappointed."