Dave Chappelle addresses public meeting

Yellow Springs Community Access/YouTube

Dave Chappelle criticized for opposing affordable housing in viral town council video

Chappelle threatened to move his '$65 million' business out of town if affordable housing was built.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 10, 2022   Updated on Feb 16, 2022, 12:47 pm CST

No stranger to controversy, Dave Chappelle is now under fire for something completely unrelated to his comedy: Publicly opposing an affordable housing plan near his Ohio home.

In a viral video from a local council meeting, Chappelle spoke out against the housing development, threatening to remove his “$65 million” businesses from the area.

“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you,” he says, referring to the fact that he’s speaking at the podium of a public meeting. “You look like clowns. I am not bluffing, I will take it all off the table.” The video quickly spread on Twitter, with many people expressing disgust that Chappelle would leverage his wealth in this manner.

Responses to the video include people calling Chappelle a NIMBY and a “boring old boomer,” comparing him to controversial celebrities like J.K. Rowling, and generally accusing him of hating poor people.

Chappelle resides in Yellow Springs, a village with a population of around 4,000. He’s currently in the process of opening a restaurant and comedy club in a converted firehouse, with hopes to attract more visitors to the town.

According to Dayton Daily News, the proposed housing development would put land aside for affordable homes alongside more expensive properties. Chappelle reportedly lives close to where the houses would be built.

After pushback from locals (with Chappelle as the most prominent figure), the council voted against the “affordable” elements, only approving the higher-income homes. Now, the development will cover 143 single-family houses priced at $300,000 and above. Yellow Springs’ median household income is just over $60,000.

In a previous town council meeting last year, Chappelle said, “I’ve invested millions of dollars in town. If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable.” He characterized the plan for affordable housing as a blow to the “potential” of Yellow Springs.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Dave Chappelle’s representatives for comment via email.

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*First Published: Feb 10, 2022, 8:47 am CST