Dave Chappelle‘s Washington DC high school pushed a planned November fundraising event back to April 22 after students threatened to walk out, citing his transphobic special The Closer. The school’s theatre is named after Chappelle, who has been a big fundraiser. The event was originally cancelled outright, but the school backpedaled. Politico broke the story:
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.
His controversial comments on trans people have become a legacy-defining focal point since his Netflix special The Closer led to a federal lawsuit brought by Netflix employees. Via Yahoo!
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Georgetown, which Chappelle himself attended, announced in an email to patrons that they had decided to postpone the Nov. 23 event, which was intended to serve as a fundraiser to raise money for a new theater bearing Chappelle’s name. Instead, the school determined it would be best to delay the event until April 22.
Via Deadline, the event was originally cancelled outright:
The walkout threat arose when students reportedly had what was described as “a heated debate” with faculty over an exhibition honoring Chappelle that would be unveiled on the same day as the fundraiser.
The postponement appears to be a compromise, as the school originally elected to cancel the fundraiser. Chappelle has been a generous donor over the years, donating $100,000 to the school and giving it one of his Emmy Awards in 2017. He also was a commencement speaker, held a master class, and brought celebrity friends to the campus.
Netflix executives continue to defend their decision to pay Chappelle $24.1 million for the transphobic special.
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