Chappelle Urges Critics, Fans to Donate to School Amid Theater-Naming Debate or ‘Shut the F*ck Up Forever’ About It

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Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

It’s no secret that Dave Chappelle’s recent Q&A session at his alma mater didn’t win students over, but the comedian is still trying to help the Duke Ellington School for the Arts decide if they should name a theater after him as originally intended.

Last week it was revealed that after Dave performed for 600 students at the Washington, D.C. school, he was slammed for his controversial jokes about the trans community in his recent Netflix special The Closer. One 16-year-old reportedly called 48-year-old Chappelle a “bigot” who had handled criticism “like a child,” to which the comedian claimed he doesn’t “believe you could make one of the decisions I have to make on a given day.”

As the Washington Post noted, Dave’s former high school paused the process of renaming a theater after him. He’s since taken to Instagram to encourage fans to donate to the school and make that decision a bit easier for the administration.

“If you object to my receiving this honor, I urge you to donate to the school noting your objection. If you are in favor of the theater being named ‘Chappelle,’ I urge you to donate to the school, noting your approval,” Dave shared. “Whichever opinion donates the highest collective dollar amount, wins.”

Chappelle continued, writing that if by April “those against the ‘Chappelle’ theater exceed the donations of those who are neutral or in favor of the theater being named ‘Chappelle,’ I will gladly step aside.”

“If not, I will happily attend the naming ceremony. And if you don’t care enough to donate,” he wrote, switching to a larger font, “please, shut the fuck up, forever.”

Chappelle previously called the renaming the “most significant honor of my life,” and his rep Carla Sims later added following The Closer controversy that he “supports the school and any effort to contribute to open conversations vs. cancellations.” The ongoing decision comes after the school canceled a Nov. 23 fundraiser, citing students being “uncomfortable” with the comedian coming to campus.

“They’re canceling stuff I didn’t even want to do,” Chappelle said during a later standup set, per IndyStar. “If you think you’re mad at me—remember, I didn’t disinvite you from anything.”

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