Dave Chappelle’s recent Netflix comedy special, The Closer has unleashed waves of support and criticism for his comments criticizing the LGBTQ+ community. Now, his alma mater has taken a stance, postponing a recent fundraiser that was organized in his honor.
Duke Ellington School of the Arts has moved the date for a fundraiser scheduled for Nov. 23. The event, now slated for April 22, will raise money for a theater set to be named after the comedian.
Chappelle graduated from the school and has been an influential supporter of their efforts for decades.
However, in a recent statement, the school said his work has created opportunities for the Ellington community to engage in listening sessions with students as a result of the criticized special.
“We also believe moving forward with the event without first addressing questions and concerns would be a missed opportunity for a teachable moment,” the school said.
The statement went on to stress the importance of rejecting cancel culture.
“We recognize that not everyone will accept or welcome a particular artist’s point of view 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 rights and dignity of all its members.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to more accurately reflect the Duke Ellington School of the Arts statement.