While performing a 15-minute standup set in Indianapolis Friday night following the screening of his Untitled documentary, Dave Chappelle joked about being uninvited from a fundraiser at his old high school.
“They’re canceling stuff I didn’t even want to do,” Chappelle said, per IndyStar. “If you think you’re mad at me — remember, I didn’t disinvite you from anything.”
Last week, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.—from which Chappelle graduated—called off a planned fundraiser over the widely criticized comments the comedian made in his latest Netflix special The Closer. The school initially announced a Nov. 23 fundraiser for a new theater that was set to carry Chappelle’s name.
According to a Politico report, many students were “uncomfortable” with supporting Chappelle. Some students reportedly talked about staging a walkout but the school eventually decided to cancel the fundraiser.
“As a learning institution that champions inclusivity, diversity, equity and belonging, we care deeply about protecting the well-being and dignity of every member of our student body, faculty and community,” the school said in a statement. “We also believe moving forward with the event, originally scheduled for November 23, 2021, without first addressing questions and concerns from members of the Ellington community, would be a missed opportunity for a teachable moment.”
During his performance at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis last Friday, Chappelle addressed the backlash surrounding his Closer comments, which have been deemed transphobic by many.
“If anyone says trans people are angry at me, they are wrong,” Chappelle said. “And if you see (a trans person), buy them a coffee or lipstick or whatever they want and tell them Dave Chappelle sent you.”