Dave Chappelle’s alma mater first canceled, and later postponed a planned fundraiser after student backlash from comments the comedian made in his latest Netflix special, “The Closer.”
According to Duke Ellington School of the Arts, students were uncomfortable with Chappelle’s humor because they have friends who identify as LGBT. In the show, Chappelle admits “gender is a fact,” and said he was a member of the “trans-exclusionary radical feminists.” Even though Chappelle has donated a whopping $100,000 to the school, gave one of his Emmy awards to his alma mater in 2017, and even delivered a commencement address for Duke Ellington, the school has postponed the fundraiser until April 22.
“We recognize that not everyone will accept or welcome a particular artists’s point of view, product or craft, but reject the notion that a ‘cancel culture’ is a healthy or constructive means to teach our students how society should balance creative freedom with protecting the right and dignity of all of its members,” the high school said in a statement.
Chappelle has fought back against critics who tell him what he “can say” and “cannot say.”
“F-ck everything they say on television,” he said during a show this week. “Let’s bring the culture back together. It’s all for the culture.”
Chappelle’s shows are Netflix’s most-watched comedy specials, with more than 24 million viewers, but “The Closer” has faced harsh backlash since its release in October.
Netflix employees staged a walkout in October, citing transgender coworkers who did not feel supported. “We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused. We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content,” Netflix said in a statement.
Chappelle said he is willing to meet with Netflix executives who don’t like the show, but that he won’t “bend to anybody’s demands.”
“Everyone I know from that community has been nothing but loving and supportive. So I don’t know what this nonsense is about,” he said on Instagram in October.