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Dave Chappelle HS Fundraiser Postponed Over Student Walk-Out Threats

Slightly less than three weeks after comedian Dave Chappelle offered to meet with members of the trans community over controversial comments he made during his Netflix stand-up special The Closer as long as his "conditions" are met, we're still not quite sure where things stand with that. One thing we do know is that if he wants to have it on November 23rd, that date is now available. That's because Chappelle's scheduled appearance at his former high school in Washington D.C. for a fundraiser has been postponed over concerns for student protests and walkouts. Originally reported by Politico, Georgetown's The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Georgetown is finding students uncomfortable with Chappelle's remarks on transgender people. Moved from the end of this month to April 22, 2022, the fundraiser was aimed at raising monies for a new theater named in Chappelle's honor.

"We recognize that not everyone will accept or welcome a particular artist's point of view, product, or craft, 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 an official statement. In the past, Chappelle has been actively involved with the school, from donating $100,000 and one of his 2017 Emmy Awards, to serving as a commencement speaker and teaching a master class. The postponement was reportedly a compromise after an apparent "heated debate" between students and faculty over an exhibition honoring the comedian, with the school originally planning to cancel the event entirely.

Image: Screencap

Last month, Chappelle posted a new stand-up video clip addressing the controversy. But after several weeks of firings, suspensions, reinstatements, walkout protests, and co-CEO Ted Sarandos & other Netflix executives having to defend their decisions in the press, Chappelle didn't back down: "I said what I said." Here's a look at some takeaways from the clip (which you can check out below):

Chappelle Claims He Was Never Invited to Meet with Netflix's Transgender Employees: "It's been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused. That is not true — if they had invited me I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about. I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not? You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I'm the only one who can't go to the office."

Chappelle Wants Us to Know His LGBTQ Friends Have Been "Loving and Supportive"- But He Knows Who the Real Culprit Is…: "I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it's me versus that community, that's not what it is. Do not blame the LGBTQ community for any of this. It's about corporate interests, and what I can say, and what I cannot say. For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been loving and supportive, so I don't know what this nonsense is about."

Chappelle Wants Everyone to Know He's Suffering, Too. Thankfully, "Tedflix" Was There to Save the "Dave": "This film that I made was invited to every film festival in the United States. Some of those invitations I accepted. When this controversy came out about 'The Closer', they began disinviting me from these film festivals. And now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film. Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he's the only one that didn't cancel me yet."

Chappelle's Willing to Meet with Members of the Trans Community… If They Meet His "Meeting Rider"?!: "To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anyone's demands. And if you want to meet with me, I am more than willing to, but I have some conditions. First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end. You must come to a place of my choosing at a time of my choosing, and thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny."

In early October, Emmy-winning comedian Hannah Gadsby made it clear how they felt about Chappelle and having their name referenced by Sarandos in an email to staff defending the streamer's decision to keep the special streaming. Gadsby's two Netflix specials have earned five Emmy nominations, including a win for "Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special" for Nanette. From calling out Chappelle for his "emotionally stunted partial world view" to not appreciating Sarandos' name-dropping ("Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle's fans like to unleash on me every time"), here's a look at Gadsby's post:

Image: Screencap

"Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn't drag my name into your mess. Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle's fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view. You didn't pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult… I do sh*ts with more back bone than you. That's just a joke! I definitely didn't cross a line because you just told the world there isn't one."

Now here's a look at Chappelle's video clip that was shared late last month:

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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