Dave Chappelle doesn't back down when students at DC alma mater slam him

Chappelle has faced years of backlash and claims that he is "transphobic" for jokes in his stand-up acts, including after 'The Closer', where he made comments such as "gender is a fact,"

Published: 26th November 2021 06:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2021 06:20 PM   |  A+A-

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle (Photo | Netflix)


WASHINGTON: American comedian Dave Chappelle recently made a surprise visit to his alma mater in Washington, DC, where some students reportedly expected him to apologize following the blowback over his comedy special 'The Closer' on Netflix this year.

According to Fox News, one of the students said, "I'm 16 and I think you're childish, you handled it like a child," adding that Chappelle is a "bigot," a news outlet reported on Thursday after speaking to attendees of the event.

"My friend, with all due respect, I don't believe you could make one of the decisions I have to make on a given day," he responded, according to students recounting the event.

Chappelle has faced years of backlash and claims that he is "transphobic" for jokes in his stand-up acts, including after 'The Closer', where he made comments such as "gender is a fact," was released on Netflix last month.

The special was panned by the trans community and some employees of Netflix but boasts high ratings among general audiences.

He made an appearance at D.C.'s Duke Ellington School of the Arts on Tuesday, where 580 students packed the auditorium, according to the outlet. The comedian graduated from the school in 1991.

The school initially moved his appearance from November 23 to April 22 over threats of students walking out in protest before apparently going back to the original plan.

Reportedly he responded to another antagonistic question from a student, "I'm better than every instrumentalist, artist, no matter what art you do in this school, right now, I'm better than all of you. I'm sure that will change. I'm sure you'll be household names soon."

"Your comedy kills," another student shouted at him. "N------ are killed every day," he reportedly responded, before saying, "The media's not here, right?"

"As a parent, I have to say I have a real problem. ... He was being dead serious and using the N-word on the record. What kind of judgment is the school showing to allow that?" one parent said of the event.

Chappelle's spokesperson Carla Sims responded to all this and told a news outlet, "They are complaining that he talked and said the n-word. If anything, Dave is putting the school on the map."

"He said these kids deserve an F for forgiveness," Sims added, saying he did not expect students to want him to apologize during the visit. But "give them some space to grow. They are going to say things that are immature."

A Duke Ellington official added that the comedian encouraged students who took issue with his comedy to ask him questions, and about eight students came forward.

"During the conversation with students and staff, Chappelle specifically invited the voices of discontent to ask questions, however as a result, the supporters of Chappelle became the silent majority," said Duke Ellington spokesperson Savannah Overton.

"Our principal was approached by several students after the assembly who were disappointed that they were not able to voice their support for Chappelle in this forum," she added.

Despite apparently tense moments, students said Chappelle had a softened tone by the end of the visit and denounced death threats some students received over protesting him. One student recounted him as being "really kind."

According to Fox News, he also gave each student three tickets to his documentary "Untitled" and 600 meals to students and staff for Thanksgiving.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp