Closer, The: Dave Chappelle’s High School Delays Theater Renaming After Possible Student Protest

Dave Chappelle’s High School Delays Theater Renaming After Possible Student Protest Over ‘The Closer’

The delay reportedly followed a “heated debate” among students and teachers at Duke Ellington School of the Arts over an exhibit meant to honor the comedian on the same day as the theater renaming.

 

A planned November 23 ceremony to rename the Duke Ellington School of the Arts high school theater after Dave Chappelle was postponed by several months in light of potential student protests related to the comedian’s latest Netflix special, The Closer.

In a statement on Friday, the D.C. public school — which Chappelle graduated from in 1991 — announced that it would be moving forward with its planned theater renaming on April 22, 2022, five months after it was originally scheduled.

“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 reads. “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.”