Dave Chappelle refuses to name his high school theater, he says

The a long-delayed inauguration ceremony intended to recognize comedian Dave Chappelle in his high school took another dramatic turn on Monday as the cartoon refused to be honored.

The Emmy-winning star said Monday that the Duke Ellington School of the Arts student theater will no longer be named after him. Instead, it will be called the Theater of Artistic Freedom and Expression Washington Post.

It is unclear when it was decided to use the new name. Representatives from the school and Chappelle did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment on Tuesday.

The the ceremony was postponed to a later date since November, in the midst of controversy over transphobic jokes and other unknown comments made by Chappelle in his book. sharing Netflix special “To the nearest.” Students of Duke Ellington are also in that wave of criticism expressed concerns honoring a famous alumnus at his alma mater – a free public magnet school in Washington DC where the majority is black.

The 48-year-old cartoon, who had described the renaming of the theater as “the most significant honor of my life,” was told to the public at Monday’s ceremony that he felt the backlash against him had no nuances and was not about his work. Message reported.

“You can’t report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuances,” the cartoon said. Twitter thread From the columnist Josh Rogin of the post.

“No matter what they say about” The Closer, “it still is [one of the] Netflix’s Most Viewed Specials. The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent I have to say it. It has nothing to do with what you say, I can’t say. It has everything to do with my artistic freedom of expression, Chappelle said.

But he also did not want the theater bearing his name to distract students who focused on the importance of his art, the Post reported, saying the criticism hurt him “sincerely.”

“The idea that my name will become an instrument of someone else’s oppression is, I find, unsustainable,” said “A Star Is Born” and “Chappelle’s Show.”

The decision to rename the theater, according to Chappelle, was made by the founder Request from Peggy Cooper Cafritz. In November, Chappelle said he accepted it, even though his “idea, goal, or wish” was not to get credit for him.

Despite the controversy, the school doubled for months then of his decision to rename the venue, arguing at the time that art is “a free and open form of expression to both reflect and challenge society.”

“The conversations between some Ellington students largely reflect those that take place in Washington DC and across the country. The different views expressed by students reflect differences of opinion between a number of socio-economic factors, including class, race, and gender expressions,” the school said. said in a statement issued in December.

Prior to Monday’s event, the school said its co-founder, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, “strongly believed in the transformative power of art and had hopes that Chappelle would use its platform to bring more resources and attention to the school.”

Indeed, Monday’s event, “Ellington’s Excellence: An Evening with Dave Chappelle,” also began the school’s Million Dollar Challenge with Chappelle. Organizers hope to raise $ 2 million to cover pre-vocational arts education that is not funded from the school district budget.

Chappelle previously promised to donate $ 100,000 to the school and in 2017 gave it one of its Emmy Awards.

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