Duke Ellington School delays naming the theater after Dave Chappelle


People attend a rally in support of Netflix’s “Stand Up in Solidarity” transgender employee strike to protest the streaming of Comedian Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special, in Los Angeles, California, United States on October 26. 20 2021. Image: Reuters / Mario Anzuoni

Duke Ellington School of the Arts, in northwest Washington, said it will postpone renaming its theater after Dave Chappelle, one of its best-known graduates, to interact with school members who have raised concerns about the latest special. comic Netflix comedian.

The event, originally scheduled for November 23, has now been moved to April 22, the school said in a statement Friday.

Chappelle’s latest comedy special on Netflix, “The Closer,” has been criticized by some who saw it as a ridicule for transgender people. Supporters of the comic saw it as a cry against the culture of cancellation.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, recognized Chappelle’s provocative language in “The Closer,” but previously claimed he hadn’t overstepped the line for inciting violence.

“Dave is an artist and activist and applauds the school for taking the time to develop creative and critical thinkers,” said Carla Sims, Chappelle’s representative. Washington Post on Fridays. “It supports the school and any effort to contribute to the open conversations against cancellations.”

In his statement, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts described Chappelle as its “most distinguished alumni” and “an important thought leader,” adding that the comedian has personally donated or raised millions of dollars to cover the school’s underfunding. .

“‘The Closer’, the most viewed comedy special in Netflix history, which garnered a 96% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, sparked a national debate on race, gender, sexuality and ‘culture erasure’,” he said. said the school.

“We also believe that moving forward with the event, originally scheduled for November 23, 2021, without first addressing the questions and concerns of Ellington community members, would be a missed opportunity for an educational moment,” he added.

The institution said it recognizes that not everyone will accept or embrace an artist’s point of view, but added that it rejected the idea that a “culture of cancellation” is healthy or constructive.

Last month, dozens of people protested near the streaming company’s headquarters for Chappelle’s latest Netflix special. JB


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