Dave Chappelle has attended his old high school – and he is no “closer” to redemption.
The controversial comedian, 48, was lame by students after he spoke at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
Chappelle – who graduated from the prestigious school in 1991 – spent about an hour addressing 580 students in a hall, according to Politico, before things “went south” during a subsequent Q&A session.
The comedian was facing accusations of transphobia due to jokes made in his new Netflix special, “The Closer,” and students at the school were eager to express their anxiety.
“I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child,” one student said of Chappel’s response to the initial backlash he faced over the special. The student described the comedian as a “great.”
Meanwhile, another student is approached to the microphone and sincerely tells Chappelle: “Your comedy kills.” The stranger said he shot back: “No, people are killed every day.”
One parent told Politico that they were not impressed with the choice of language of the comedian. “As a parent, I have to say I have a real problem,” one father said. “He was dead serious and used the N-word on the record. What kind of a judgment shows the school to allow this?” They said.
However, not all students are against Chappelle’s presence on campus. According to Politico, some students enthusiastically cheered as the comic took to the stage to speak.
Duke Ellington School of the Arts is in the process of renaming its theater after Chappelle. Some students, parents and alumni are trying to block the move.
In a letter posted on the school’s website, administrators say they are planning to continue with the renaming despite the controversy.
“On April 22, 2022, we will celebrate one of our most prominent alumni, Dave Chappelle, by naming our theater in his honor,” the school wrote. “This theatrical name was the desire of one of our founders, Peggy Cooper Cafrites, who recognized Chapel as an important thought leader of our time.”
We recognize that not everyone will accept or welcome a particular artist’s point of view, product or craft, but reject the idea that a ‘cancel culture’ is a healthy or constructive means of teaching our students how society should balance creative freedom with Protecting the rights and dignity of all its members. “
Chapel has been under fire since the release of “The Closer” last month, in which he declared himself to be a “trans-exclusion radical feminist” (TERF).
“They canceled JK Rowling – my God. In fact, she said gender was a reality, the trans community was insane, they started calling her a TERF … I’m Team TERF,” he whipped in the stand-up Special.
“Gender is a reality. Every man in the room, every man on earth, has to pass through the legs of a woman to be on the ground. This is a reality.”