Latest 'Cancel-Culture' Effort Against Dave Chappelle by DC School Doesn't Go Well

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

As the cancel-culture hysteria against outspoken comedian Dave Chappelle and his recent Netflix special continues, students at the high school from which Chappelle graduated called for the cancellation of an on-campus fundraiser featuring the comedian, the purpose which is to raise money for a new theater.

Even better (or worse, depending on one’s perspective), the theater’s name? “Chappelle Theater.”

As noted by The Blaze, Chappelle has been a longtime supporter of Duke Ellington School of Arts in Washington, D.C., after graduating in 1991. Chappelle credits the school with saving his life.

Controversy aside, this thing was a cluster from the beginning.

As reported by Politico, students unhappy with Chappelle over his comments about the LGBTQ community pushed the school to cancel the fundraiser and the theater’s name.

Ellington first freaked out, saying it would cancel the fundraiser in response to the hissy fit from the offended students. Then school officials said the fundraiser would not be canceled. Finally, they announced that while the fundraiser will be still held, it will be rescheduled from its original Nov. 23 date until April 22. Cooling off period, no doubt. No doubt ridiculous, as well.

Check out the confusion in the Twittersphere.

The school’s final statement on the controversy reads in part:

For almost 50 years Duke Ellington School of the Arts has been the leader in arts education in the District of Columbia. Our mission is to nurture and inspire passion for the arts and learning in talented students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop their artistic skills.

We prepare students to become productive citizens in our global society through our strong focus on activism and community service. By all accounts, we excel at this mission.

On April 22, 2022, we will celebrate one of our most distinguished alumni, Dave Chappelle, by naming our theatre in his honor. This theatre naming was the desire of one of our founders, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, who recognized Chappelle as an important thought leader of our time.

She understood that the current and future impact of his work and influence would raise the profile of the school, increase opportunities for the entire Ellington community, and provide critical fundraising support for the sustainability of our arts-based curriculum.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Let me fix that: Isn’t it about what it should be all about? 

A proud school welcoming a distinguished alumnus home to give back to the institution he credits with saving his life, irrespective of a few butt-hurt snowflakes who jumped like lemmings aboard the cancel-culture bandwagon against its latest target — a brilliant comedian and social commentator I doubt they’ve ever seen, let alone listened to, in an attempt to understand what he thinks about the LGBTQ community or anything else? I’ll take all bets that they have not — much less give a d*mn, one way or the other.

Ellington also said it rejects the “cancel culture” notion outright.

We recognize that not everyone will accept or welcome a particular artist’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.

To reiterate, the school will also move forward with plans to name its theater after Chappelle — despite a threatened student walkout.

Incidentally, Chappelle addressed the students of Duke Ellington School of Arts in 2019, telling them:

“Protect your heart, young people, protect your heart. Don’t ever become a cynic!”

Dave received wild applause from the students as he left the stage. Imagine that. Just two years ago.

 

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