Comedian Dave Chappelle reportedly mocked several students at his high school alma mater while he performed there on Tuesday after the students got mouthy with him in front of the crowd.
Chappelle performed in front of nearly 600 students during a surprise visit to D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, which came after the school reportedly canceled a fundraiser involving Chappelle after some leftists complained about jokes that he made about transgender people during his “The Closer” special on Netflix.
One of the students told Chappelle during a question and answer session that he was a “bigot,” adding, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish; you handled it like a child.”
Chappelle responded, “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’s response reportedly angered some apparently petulant individuals who expected an apology from Chappelle.
Politico reported that Chappelle responded to another hostile question from a student by mocking their talent-level, openly stating that he was better than they were. There were no recordings of the event because Chappelle’s team made the students lock their phones in special pouches before he spoke.
“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,” he said. “I’m sure that will change. I’m sure you’ll be household names soon.”
Another student reportedly shouted without evidence, “Your comedy kills,” to which Chappelle responded, “N****** are killed every day. The media’s not here, right?”
A spokesperson for Chappelle mocked a few who complained that Chappelle, who is black, used the n-word, saying, “Dave is putting the school on the map.”
One of the students who was apparently antagonistic toward Chappelle complained to Politico that the comedian had more power than they did, and that he knew they were nervous to call him out.
“He could tell we were nervous,” the student said. “It was a huge power imbalance of this grown man and his camera crew — and these 14- to 18 year-olds without their phones, just high school kids.”
Despite some complaints from woke students, other students said that Chappelle softened up during the event and he spoke out in defense of the students who were protesting him after some of them claim that they had received threats.
“His whole tone changed,” a student said. “He said, ‘This is my family and whether they know it or not I love these kids. … I don’t want to hear about any threats to these kids. These kids don’t deserve that.’ He was really kind.”
A spokesperson for Chappelle said that the comedian wanted forgiveness from the students over the school postponing an event to name its theater after him in response to the reaction that leftists had to his Netflix special.
“He said these kids deserve an F for forgiveness,” the spokesperson said. But, “Give them some space to grow. They are going to say things that are immature.”