WATCH ALL YOUR FAVORITE BET SHOWS

Dave Chappelle Declines Having Duke Ellington School Theater Named After Him

The comedian announced the news at the dedication ceremony for the venue on June 20.

Comedian Dave Chappelle has officially announced that student theater at his alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Northwest Washington, will no longer be named after him.

According to The Washington Post, Chapelle was in town for the dedication ceremony for the venue on Monday night (June 20) and shared with the audience that he decided on Friday (June 17) to withdraw from having the theater named after him.

RELATED: Jerrod Carmichael Reacts To Dave Chapelle’s Comedic Style When It Comes To The LGBTQ Community

Instead, it will be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.

RELATED: Dave Chappelle And Chris Rock To Headline New Comedy Show

Chappelle explained that amid the ongoing backlash against him he didn’t want the naming of the theater to be a distraction to students.

The school, which was established in 1974 with a dedicated mission to provide free, first-class art education, serves a primarily Black student body.

In Oct. 2021, Chappelle pledged to donate $100,000 to the school’s theater.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.


By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.