Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C., the alma mater of Dave Chappelle, has canceled a fundraising event that the comedian was scheduled to attend after students promised to walk out because of his remarks about the LGBTQ+ community, Yahoo News reports.
According to the reports, two students said that some of their classmates had a heated discussion with the school’s faculty after discovering they were chosen to create an exhibition to pay tribute to Chappelle on the same day as the fundraiser.
The students expressed their discomfort in supporting Chappelle because many of their classmates identify as LGBTQ+. In his newest stand-up, Chappelle compared being transgender to wearing blackface, argued that “gender is a fact” and said that he’s a member of “team TERF,” meaning “trans-exclusionary radical feminists.”
Although invitations were already sent out to patrons, the school still decided to cancel the fundraiser.
Chappelle is one of the most prominent alumni of the school and has been generous to his alma mater since he became a superstar comedian. He donated $100,000 to the school, gave it one of his Emmy awards in 2017, delivered a commencement address, held a master class for students, and frequently visits campus with his celebrity friends such as Chris Tucker and Bradley Cooper.
As EBONY previously reported, last month Chappelle said he is “not bending to anybody’s demands” after receiving backlash about The Closer, his Netflix special.
“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience,” Chappelle said while performing last month. “But you will not summon me.”