Posted by on June 21, 2022 9:34 am
Categories: News The Hill

Chappelle won’t name space after himself at alma mater

Dave Chappelle says he’s opting against renaming a space at his alma mater after himself — as he defended a past controversial Netflix comedy special — instead choosing to give a nod to artistic freedom.

“We call it the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression,” Chappelle told WRC-TV on Monday of the theater at Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, which the comedian attended.

“Because to me, that’s what I would want for myself, and that’s what I would want for every student that goes to this school,” Chappelle, 48, said.

“And I do feel like if that’s threatened, then the society at large is threatened. Then if artists feel stifled, then everyone’s stifled,” he added.

“I feel like artists have a responsibility to really be true to their art right now,” he said.

GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition were among the groups that condemned Chappelle’s 2021 Netflix special, “The Closer,” for its “transphobic” material.

In the special, Chappelle mocked members of the transgender community and used crude terms to refer to a transgender person’s anatomy.

Chappelle offered a defense of the TV project as he spoke at the arts school on Monday, and took a shot at the media’s coverage of it.

“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle said, according to The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin.

The 1991 Ellington graduate said when he’s told he “can’t say something,” the “more urgent” it is for him to say it.

“It has nothing to do with what you are saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my freedom of artistic expression,” he said.

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