Dave Chappelle is challenging his critics to put their money where their mouths are.
The comedian has faced widespread backlash over comments he made about the trans community in his Netflix special "The Closer" and then received scrutiny after his former high school, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, announced it would be naming a theater after him. Now he has issued an ultimatum to both those who object as well as those who support the decision to donate money to the school. Whichever donates the most will get the final say.
"Talk is cheap (unless I do it)," he wrote in an Instagram post, explaining that while it was an "honor" to have the institution's theater named after him, it was not his idea but that of the school's founder, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, and he intends to "honor that request" in April — unless critics speak up with their checkbooks.
"If by April, those against the Chappelle theater exceed the donations of those who are neutral or in favor of the theater named Chappelle, I will gladly step aside," he continued in the Instagram post. "If not, I will happily attend the naming ceremony. And if you don't care enough to donate... please, shut the f--- up, forever," Chappelle concluded.
Last week Chappelle caused a stir when he showed up for a surprise visit to his former high school. Rather than receive a warm welcome, he instead was greeted with conflict. Many students were expecting an apology for his comments on "The Closer."
One student reportedly took to the microphone and called Chappelle a "bigot" and said, "I'm 16 and I think you're childish, you handled it like a child," according to Politico.
"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 responded, which annoyed some students, Politico reported.
"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," Chappelle also reportedly said according to the outlet. "I'm sure that will change. I'm sure you'll be household names soon."
Students said that Chappelle softened as the engagement went on, particularly after he addressed death threats students have received for protesting its theater being renamed after him.
"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," Chappelle said, according to Politico. "These kids don't deserve that."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.