Dave Chappelle was meant to be honored with a theater named after him at his former high school, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. Following controversy from his latest Netflix special, Chappelle requested a different name for the theater: The Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.

Chappelle’s “Artistic Freedom” he feels is in jeopardy is his ability to make transphobic jokes that angered some LGBTQ activists when they were revealed as a large segment of his recent special, The Closer.

The use of the jokes also angered students at the comic’s alma mater, who protested in November when it was first revealed that a theater named after Chappelle was coming. He even visited the campus in what was described as a an “antagonistic” Q&A with incensed students, and at one point told the crowd, “I’m better than any 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.”

At the naming ceremony, which finally took place on Monday, Chappelle said criticism by young teenagers, “sincerely hurt me,” and also said of his material, “The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it. It has nothing to do with what you are saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my freedom of artistic expression.”

Netflix has stood by him and remains committed to releasing specials by the comic. He was also honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday.

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