Chappelle’s Alma Mater Walks Back Cancellation, Condemns Cancel Culture

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Dave Chappelle’s alma mater, walked back its decision to cancel a fundraising event featuring the comedian in a statement Friday morning.

The school canceled the Nov. 23 Chappelle fundraiser following complaints from students regarding his comments on the LGBTQ community, according to Politico, then quickly reversed the decision and rescheduled the event for April 22.

“Using Chappelle’s latest works as the impetus, we have expanded our Social Studies curriculum to include content related to political activism, civic engagement, arts activism, and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, “ the school said in a statement. “Our objective is to uplift conversations around artistic freedom and artistic responsibility.”

Ellington will also move forward with plans to name its theater after Chappelle despite a threatened student walkout, according to the Washingtonian. (RELATED: LGBTQ Group Gives DaBaby Green Light To Perform But Not Dave Chappelle Over ‘Closer’ Comments)

“We recognize that not everyone will accept or welcome a particular artist’s point of view … 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,” the school said in a statement.

Chappelle’s recent comedy special, “The Closer,” drew controversy from LGBTQ activist groups for including comments such as “gender is a fact.” Chappelle has been a vocal opponent of cancel culture.

The school’s statement pointed out that “The Closer” was the most watched comedy special in Netflix’s history and garnered a 96% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Duke Ellington School did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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