Dave Chappelle‘s former high school has confirmed that it still plans to rename a theatre after him, despite a heated dispute between students and the comedian.
Chappelle made an unannounced visit to The Duke Ellington School Of The Arts in Washington ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, despite previous reports that he had been uninvited from a fundraiser there.
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During a Q&A with the high school’s students, questions arose with regards to the comedian’s controversial comments about the trans community, which he made in recent stand-up special The Closer.
As per Politico, one student referred to Chappelle as a “bigot.” “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child,” they added.
“It was strange to me because he was asking for our opinions, and then when we gave our opinions, he just shut us down,” said another student, according to the Washington Post.
“There was a very big power imbalance of him just talking down to us, and just being really rude to us. It just it did not feel like a very welcome environment.”
However, the school has now said that it stands by the decision “to honour the wishes of [their] co-founder, the late Peggy Cooper Cafritz, to name the theatre after Chappelle.”
The statement continued: “As an art institution, we educate our students on the importance of media literacy and art as a free and open form of expression to both reflect and challenge society.
“Although it appears that the clear majority of students at Ellington favour naming the theatre for Dave Chappelle, we are seizing this moment to demonstrate the importance of carefully listening to every voice within our diverse and inclusive community.”