Dave Chappelle has denied "killing" an affordable housing development in his Ohio hometown Yellow Springs.
Town council members voted down the development after the comedian allegedly voiced his opposition. NBC News reported that Chappelle threatened to pull his investment from the town if the scheme went ahead.
However, a rep for the controversial comedian has denied that he wrecked the affordable housing plan, insisting that it was local concern over the "half-baked" plan that lead to it being scrapped.
Reports of Chappelle's opposition to the plan have circulated since December, when he told the town council that he was "adamantly opposed" to the development and reminded them he has "invested millions of dollars in the town," per The Dayton Daily News.
The comedian appeared to double down on his opposition at a meeting on Tuesday when the zoning ordinance set to build the development was put to a vote. In a video from the meeting which quickly went viral, Chappelle took a firm stand.
"I cannot believe you would make me audition for you. You look like clowns," he told council members. He then referred to his sizable investment in the town, saying: "I am not bluffing. I will take it all off the table."
After the comedian's statement, two council members voted in favor of the scheme and two against it, meaning the vote was deadlocked and no developments could go ahead.
Chappelle faced immediate backlash over his involvement, prompting a representative to explain his position.
"Dave Chappelle didn’t kill affordable housing. Concerned residents and a responding village council ‘killed’ a half-baked plan which never actually offered affordable housing," they told Yahoo Entertainment.[[imagecaption|| Credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy]]
"Without question, Dave Chappelle cares about Yellow Springs. He’s sewn into the fabric of the village," they added. The rep then hit out at the planned housing scheme, saying: "Neither Dave nor his neighbors are against affordable housing, however, they are against the poorly vetted, cookie-cutter, sprawl-style development deal which has little regard for the community, culture, and infrastructure of the Village."
They then claimed that the development deal is "cloaked as an affordable housing plan" while it is in fact "anything but affordable".
"Three out of 143 lots would have been for ‘future’ affordable housing. The rest of the homes were to be priced between $250k and upwards of $600k," they explained.