Stand up comedian Dave Chappelle
Image: BBC

Celebrated stand-up comedian, actor, and producer Dave Chappelle announced that he would not be placing his name on the theater.

This was during the naming ceremony at his former high school, the Duke Ellington High School theater,

Thus he turned down the offer to have the school theater named after him. 

Instead, Chappelle announced he had decided the theater would be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.


Dave Chappelle's alma mater had decided to pay tribute to him by renaming the building in his honor. The Duke Ellington School of the Arts based in Washington D.C. was set to rename its performance theater after its most noted alumni.

The school had issued a statement saying it was honoring the 48-year-old actor because of his ongoing commitment and service to the school.

Dave's announcement came as a surprise as Dave after hearing how some students were against the idea of the performance theater being named after him, had challenged both his supporters and hecklers to raise money for the school.


He stated if those in disagreement raised more money, he'd agreed to forgo the honor, but as it turned out, Dave’s fans at the school ended up piling more money than the opposite team.

But he still turned down the naming honor. 

The decision to rename the building had come in a few months after the comedian had gotten heckled on campus over his transgender controversy.

Chappelle had visited his former school back in November last year while he was still taking heat over his jokes in regards to the transgender community in his Netflix special. 

Things got a little out of hand when he asked students who disagreed with his comedy to speak up during an assembly. One student stepped up and called him a bigot, before adding, "I'm 16 and I think you're childish, you handled it like a child.'"

While addressing the crowd during the naming ceremony, Chappelle brought up the backlash he had experienced from students about his special "The Closer" saying that it truly did hurt him.

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