Yahoo reported that last week, the embattled comedian’s alma mater quietly, uh, cancelled a scheduled event where Chappelle was supposed to appear to help the school raise money. Some students had threatened to walk out over his appearance in the wake of a running controversy about jokes in his latest Netflix stand-up special.
The fundraiser at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., was originally scheduled for Nov. 23. The school has said the event is postponed until next year.
The event was up in the air after two students told the newsletter that their peers had a heated debate with faculty after they were told they would have to help put together an exhibition to honor the comedian on the same day as the fundraiser.
The students said they were uncomfortable supporting Chappelle because many of their classmates identify as LGBTQ+. In his new Netflix special, The Closer, the comedian compares being transgender to wearing blackface, says “gender is a fact” and says that he’s a member of “team TERF,” meaning “trans-exclusionary radical feminists.”
Despite invitations for the event having already been sent to multiple patrons, the school first reportedly elected to cancel the fundraiser, shirking Chappelle, who has given back to his alma mater in a number of way over the years: he donated $100,000 to the school, gave it one of his Emmy awards in 2017, delivered a commencement address, held a master class for students and regularly visited campus with other notable celebrities, including Bradley Cooper and Chris Tucker, the report says.
Last month some Netflix employees staged a walkout over the comedian’s material. Chappelle, meanwhile, is still framing the issue as one of “cancel culture” and hasn’t apologized for his material. Stay tuned for more developments on this story in the coming months.