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Dave Chappelle Calls Students 'Instruments of Oppression' Over Trans Fury

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Dave Chappelle has spoken out about the backlash he faced over his comments concerning transgender women in his controversial Netflix special, The Closer, calling the students who criticized him "instruments of oppression."In his new Netflix special, What's in a Name?—which was released by the streaming giant in Thursday without prior announcement—the comedian addressed the matter during a speech in June at his alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.Chappelle spoke at a ceremony where there had been plans to name the school's theater after him, a decision that was widely criticized because of the comments the comic had made about trans women in November 2021's The Closer.Amid the backlash, Chappelle also attended a Q&A session with the school's students, who criticized him for failing to listen to the LGBTQ community with regards to the content of some of his material.During the renaming ceremony, Chappelle announced that he had decided against having the school's theater named after him in light of the backlash.

The school subsequently named the space the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.While announcing the theater's new name during his 40-minute speech shown on What's in a Name, Chappelle mostly spoke about his years at the school, before going on to speak about the backlash he had faced over The Closer."All the kids were screaming and yelling," he said, per Variety. "I remember, I said to the kids, I go, 'Well, okay, well what do you guys think I did wrong?' And a line formed.

These kids said everything about gender, and this and that and the other, but they didn't say anything about art."And this is my biggest gripe with this whole controversy with The Closer: That you cannot.

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