Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang stepped up to defend comedian Dave Chappelle after what he referred to as a “press hit job” attacking Chappelle over some comments he made while speaking to students at his old school.
“I was endorsed by a number of celebrities. Dave Chappelle is the only one who came to Iowa and South Carolina to perform on my behalf – with proceeds going to the campaign – and even made phone calls and hung out with staff. He did it because he wants to help people. Great guy,” Yang tweeted on Friday.
I was endorsed by a number of celebrities. Dave Chappelle is the only one who came to Iowa and South Carolina to perform on my behalf – with proceeds going to the campaign – and even made phone calls and hung out with staff. He did it because he wants to help people. Great guy. pic.twitter.com/6cGMcGf3ay
— Andrew Yang🧢⬆️🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) November 26, 2021
“The press hit job on his visiting his high school is awful,” Yang continued in a second tweet. “Successful alum who fundraises for school returns, speaks to students and gives everyone a free meal for Thanksgiving. But of course in 2021 an obvious positive gesture is framed negatively in the media.”
“To get a better sense, check out the new documentary ‘Untitled’ when you can on what Dave did through Covid. Should be available via streaming soon. He helped a lot of people. That’s the kind of person he is,” Yang added.
Chappelle took some heat for a surprise visit he made to his alma mater, Washington, D.C.’s Duke Ellington High School, according to Politico Playbook:
During a Q&A session, one student stepped to the mic and called Chappelle a “bigot,” adding, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child,” according to two students present. The comments were confirmed by Chappelle’s spokesperson CARLA SIMS.
NO APOLOGIES: Chappelle responded, as recalled the next day by the students, “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.” That peeved some students who were hoping for an apology or some semblance of one from Chappelle.
In response to another antagonistic question, Chappelle roughly told the student body of artists: “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.”
The students recalled that another student in the audience shouted at him, “Your comedy kills,” and Chappelle shot back, “N—— are killed every day.” He then asked, “The media’s not here, right?”
Chappelle’s spokesperson, Carla Sims, said that the comedian was going out of his way to help the school, noting that he had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in those efforts.
Despite a few antagonistic questions and responses, students said that Chappelle’s tone and demeanor changed as the event came to a close and he addressed the fact that some students had received death threats after protesting against him.
“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,'” one student told Politico.
Chappelle left the students with tickets to a screening of his new documentary — “Untitled” — which chronicles the comedian’s efforts to keep engaging audiences and entertaining people despite the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He also provided 600 Thanksgiving meals for Duke Ellington students and staff members.