Dave Chappelle launches donation challenge to decide if his alma mater theater is named after him
Comedian Dave Chappelle, who will have a theater named after him at his alma mater, has said people can still influence whether he gets the credit by raising money for the institution and saying whether they’re for or against the idea.
Chappelle, who was interrupted this week addressing students at his old school, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC, posted news of his “donation challenge” on his Instagram account.
His challenge comes after the comedian was harassed by some students who were unhappy about his controversial Netflix special.
Dave Chappelle has said he has urged people to donate to his alma mater, stating whether they are for or against naming a theater after him.
The comedian wants to raise money for or against a building on the campus of Duke Ellington School of the Arts that bears his name
Chappelle was harassed by students on Tuesday while visiting his old school
Chappelle urges people to donate for or against his alma mater’s theater being named after him
Chappelle said he would be happy to step aside once the public has had their say by donating
Talking is cheap (unless I do it). Duke Ellington School is a glorious institution. Within those walls I found a context to seriously explore my creativity. Duke Ellington has largely prepared me for this noble and difficult profession. It was a fine institution before any of the current residents moved there. God willing, it will be a fine institution long after their tenure is over. My only intention is to give Duke Elling the opportunity to train his artists unimpeded,” Chappelle began in a statement spanning four photos.
“It is a great honor that the theater is named after me. Although, that was not my idea, purpose, or desire. At the request of the founder of our beloved school, Peggy Cooper Kafritz, I accepted,” he continued.
‘I want to honor that request in April. If you object to my receiving this award, I urge you to make a donation to the school and take note of your objection. If you are in favor of the theater being renamed ‘Chappelle’, I urge you to make a donation to the school, stating your approval.
“Whoever donates the highest combined dollar amount wins. If in April those who are against the theater ‘Chappelle’ have more than the donations of those who are neutral or who advocate for the theater to be called ‘Chappelle’, I’ll gladly set it aside. If not, I will be happy to attend the naming ceremony. And if you don’t care enough to donate… please shut up forever. -Dave’
Comedian Dave Chappelle (pictured) was disturbed this week as he addressed students at his old school, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC, with some onlookers complaining about his controversial Netflix special The Closer
Chappelle has come under fire this year for making transgender jokes in his comedy special The Closer, but the comedian has always denied being anti-trans.
During The Closer, he made a comment stating that “gender is a fact,” which led the trans community to blow up the comedy special.
The controversial show caused Netflix employees to protest and mass outrage on social media at some of its jokes.
On Tuesday past his old school, Politico Playbook reports that during a speech to some 580 students, an audience member questioned the comedian about his jokes.
The student is said to have said to Chappelle, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you did it like a kid.”
The same student also reportedly described Chappelle as a “bigot.”
And in response to that student, Chappelle said he “with all due respect” did not believe that the student could make the day-to-day decisions that he has to make for himself.
Stopping by his old school (pictured) on Tuesday, he gave a speech to some 580 students, and an audience member questioned the comedian about his jokes, describing him as “childish” and a “fantasy”
In the photo, students gathered to welcome Duke Ellington School of the Arts alumni Dave Chappelle to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts at an earlier meeting in September 2017
Chappelle is also said to have told a student that ‘N***** gets killed every day’ after the public shouted that ‘your comedy is deadly’.
The school had initially postponed its action from November 23 to April 22 due to fears that students would stage a walkout protest before going back on this plan.
Chappelle’s spokeswoman Carla Sims told Politico: “They complain that he talked and said the N-word. Dave certainly puts the school on the map.’
And a school official confirmed that the comments made to Chappelle during his performance were, in fact, encouraged by the comedian, who asked those who disagreed with his comedy to question him.
While visiting the school, Chappelle also gave three students tickets to his “Untitled” documentary and provided 600 meals for students and staff for Thanksgiving.
MailOnline has reached out to Dave Chappelle’s representatives for additional comment.
It comes after Chappelle was recently nominated for a Grammy Award, despite criticism for his comments about transgender people in his Netflix special, The Closer.
The Grammy nominations come just a month after Chappelle faced calls to be canceled over jokes made in the stand-up special that focused almost entirely on members of the LGBTQ community.
Critics question cancellation culture after Marilyn Manson, Dave Chappelle (pictured) and Louis CK were nominated for Grammy Awards despite being previously ‘cancelled’
The comedian has sparked controversy with his jokes stating that “gender is a fact” and criticizing what he believes to be the thin skin of the trans community.
The jokes were based on previous observations of Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s, who stated in 2019 that transgender women were not actually women and posed a threat to her identity.
His Grammy nomination is for the Netflix special, 8:46, in the Best Spoken Word Album category.
In the wake of the backlash, LGBTQ activists slammed Chappelle for his jokes about the trans community and transgender employees at Netflix staged a strike to protest the streaming service for broadcasting the special.
Several social media users cheered the nominations and mocked the culture of cancellation – or rather the lack of it
Chappelle’s upcoming documentary was also pulled by distributors and film festival invitations were withdrawn.
Chappelle responded to criticisms of The Closer last month, posting a one-minute video to Instagram in which he said, “To the transgender community, I’m more than willing to give you an audience, but you won’t summon me. I bow to no one’s demands, and if you want to meet me I’m more than willing to do so, but I have some conditions…’
“First of all, you can’t come if you haven’t watched my special from start to finish. You must come to a place of my choosing at a time that I choose, and third, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.
‘Have I been canceled or not? Then let’s go!’ Chappelle yelled at the end of the video.