Comedy legend Dave Chappelle surprised his college in Washington, D.C., when some students expected him to apologize for the backlash he received over “The Closer”, his comedy series on Netflix.
After speaking with attendees at the event, a 16-year-old student stated that Chappelle was childish and handled the situation like a child. Politico Playbook also reported Thursday that Chappelle is a “bigot”.
“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.
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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. This special, while being criticized by members of the trans community as well as employees at Netflix, received great ratings.
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He made an appearance at D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts on Tuesday, where 580 students packed the auditorium, according to Politico Playbook. In 1991, the comedian graduated from this school.
Following threats that students would walk out of class, the school temporarily moved Mr. Smith’s appearance from Nov. 23, to April 22, in order to accommodate protestors. Then it apparently went back to its original plan.
Politico reported that 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.”
Another student shouted, “Your comedy kills!”
“N—— are killed every day,” he reportedly responded, before saying: “The media’s not here, right?”
“As a parent I must admit that I have a problem. … He was being dead serious and using the N-word on the record. Is that the kind of judgment they are allowing? One parent spoke out about the incident.
Chappelle spokesperson Carla Sims did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the event. Politico reported that she said, “They are complaining he spoke and used the n-word.” Dave actually puts the school in the spotlight.
Sims stated, “He said these children deserve an F for forgiven,” and that Sims did not expect students would want to hear his apology. Give them space to learn. You will hear them say immature things.
An official at Duke Ellington said that the comedian encouraged students to question him about their comedy. About eight people came forward.
Savannah Overton spoke for Duke Ellington. She stated, “During the conversation between students and staff. Chappelle specifically invited voices of discontented to ask questions. However as a consequence, the supporters of Chappelle became a silent majority.”
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She added that several students approached her principal after the assembly, dissatisfied at not being able to support Chappelle in this forum.
Students claimed that Chappelle had softened his tone at the end of the visit, despite some tensions. They also denounced the death threats received by students for protesting him. He was described by one student as “really kind.”
One student told Politico that his tone had changed. “He said, ‘This is my family and whether they know it or not I love these kids. … I don’t want to hear about any threats to these kids. These kids don’t deserve that.’”
The student said, “He was very kind,” “If [only]He [had]I was that way all along. … There was no reason to be mean to us. “He was laughing at children.”
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Each student was also given three tickets to the documentary Untitled and 600 Thanksgiving meals for staff and students.