Dave Chappelle has decided not to let his former school name its theatre after him following his recent controversy.
The comedian visited the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. on Monday night for its dedication ceremony for the theatre and it was revealed that it will no longer bear his name. It will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
According to The Washington Post, Chappelle told the audience that he didn’t want a theatre named in his honour to distract from the students’ work and that he decided on Friday not to have his name attached to it.
Chappelle came under fire in October over controversial comments he made about the transgender community in his Netflix stand-up special The Closer.
At the event, he told the audience he thought the backlash against him lacked nuance and wasn’t about his work, but confessed the criticism “sincerely” hurt him.
The dedication ceremony was originally due to take place in November but was postponed as a result of the controversy.
The 48-year-old, who pledged to donate $100,000 (£82,000) to the theatre, said in October that the venue bearing his name was “the most significant honour of my life.”
“I used to skip school. I would hide in there when I was skipping class. Who would have thought that that theatre would one day be named after me?” he said at a fundraising event. “But I understand it because sometimes when you love things, they love you back. And I loved that school.”