‘They’re Canceling Stuff I Didn’t Even Want to Do’: Dave Chappelle Reacts to Being Uninvited from His Old High School’s Fundraiser

Dave Chappelle continues to draw backlash for the comments made about members of the LGBTQ+ community during his recent and much-talked about Netflix special “The Closer.” Though he hasn’t suffered any significant financial loss because of his statements, he was, however, uninvited from a special event set to take place at his alma mater. 

During his latest appearance at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Friday, Nov. 12, the “Sticks & Stones” comedian revealed to the audience that his Washington, D.C., high school uninvited him to a fundraiser following the fallout from the Netflix special, IndyStar reported. 

Cleveland, Ohio – Oct. 30: Dave Chappelle speaks onstage during the 36th-Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Oct. 30, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

“They’re canceling stuff I didn’t even want to do,” Chappelle said in response to the decision. “If you think you’re mad at me — remember, I didn’t disinvite you from anything.” 

Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. — from which Chappelle graduated — called off the charity event for a new theater that was set to be named after the actor, after students reportedly expressed feeling “uncomfortable” that they were being made to show Chappelle support amid his controversy. Claims of a potential walkout by students were also reported, seemingly prompting the school to cancel the event altogether.  

In a statement released on its website, the school wrote, “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 statement continued, “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.”

Additionally, the school noted that it would be “using Chappelle’s latest works as the impetus,” to further expand its Social Studies curriculum to “include content related to political activism, civic engagement, arts activism, and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality.” 

“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 rights and dignity of all its members,” the school further expressed. 

Chappelle’s publicist, Carla Sims, told Fox News, “Dave is an artist and activist and applauds the school taking time to develop creative and critical thinkers. He supports the school’s effort to contribute to open conversations vs. cancellations.” The fundraiser has reportedly since been pushed to April 22 of next year. 

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