Outrage after Dave Chappelle drops 'N-word', humiliates Duke Ellington School students

Dave Chappelle has faced backlash from LGBTQ activists following his remarks in his Netflix comedy special 'The Closer'

                            Outrage after Dave Chappelle drops 'N-word', humiliates Duke Ellington School students
Dave Chappelle attends a Netflix event at Raleigh Studios (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Dave Chappelle sparked an uproar after he was confronted by students at his former high school following the controversy surrounding his Netflix comedy special.

The comedian, 48, has faced backlash from LGBTQ activists following his remarks in the stand-up special 'The Closer.' He was met with animosity at a recent show he performed for his alma mater on Tuesday, November 23. Chappelle visited the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC — where he graduated in 1991 — to perform in front of an almost 600-strong crowd. A report of the event from Politico Playbook noted how many in the audience confronted the comedian about his jokes about trans people and the outrage that has ensued.


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"I'm 16 and I think you're childish, you handled it like a child," one student reportedly told Chappelle, calling him a "bigot." In response, the comedian told the child, "My friend, with all due respect, I don't believe you could make one of the decisions I have to make on a given day."

Chappelle made several jokes at the expense of transgender people in 'The Closer', many of which were labeled "transphobic" such as pointing out that "gender is a fact." The special also inspired several Netflix employees to stage a walkout and put pressure on CEO Ted Sarandos, who faced criticism for his response to the backlash. On Tuesday, Chappelle reportedly told a student, "I'm better than every instrumentalist, artist, no matter what art you do in this school, right now, I'm better than all of you. I'm sure that will change. I'm sure you'll be household names soon." When another student at the event told him that his comedy "kills," Chappelle responded, "[N-word]s are killed every day," before noting, "The media's not here, right?"

Politico quoted a parent who complained about the comedian's use of the racial slur at the event. "As a parent, I have to say I have a real problem... He was being dead serious and using the N-word on the record. What kind of judgment is the school showing to allow that?" they said on condition of anonymity.


Meanwhile, social media was also inundated with criticisms of the veteran comedian. "It’s very cool and normal to lecture an auditorium of students about how funny your comedy was and why they should have laughed," one wrote, mocking Chappelle. "Remembering that Seinfeld episode about Kramer thinking he's a badass because he was taking karate with children. This dude promised on stage to speak to the trans folks at Netflix, but he bitched out of that arrangement once his ass sobered up lol. He chose children," another wrote.

"His responses to valid criticism have been childish, and he still doesn’t seem to understand that what he says emboldens people that would harm trans people," someone else alleged. "Kids these days are too sensitive. They need t-I AM BETTER THAN YOU IN EVERY WAY, YOU ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO ME!" another chimed in.





Chappelle's spokesperson Carla Sims pushed back against the outrage following the event. "They are complaining that he talked and said the n-word. If anything, Dave is putting the school on the map," she told Politico. "He said these kids deserve an F for forgiveness," and added, "give them some space to grow. They are going to say things that are immature." Sims added that Chappelle wasn't expecting students to demand an apology during his visit.