There’s one thing for certain about Dave Chappelle, and it’s that he’s an absolute comedy legend… one of the best to ever do it.
With that being said, cancel culture has put him on the crosshairs, as he’s recently been the center of a number of “controversies” surrounding his last Netflix special, The Closer. Citing perceived “anti-trans” jokes, the Twitter mob has called for Chapelle’s special to be removed from Netflix.
In fact, a follow-up special of sorts was recently released titled What’s In A Name?, featuring a more of a “talk” as opposed to a comedy set, at Chapelle’s alma mater, The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C.
But that doesn’t mean his detractors have quieted down.
Chappelle had to move his show that was supposed to happen at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night, to Varsity theater, according to KARE11.
The reason for the move is because of the public backlash Chappelle has received from his controversial shows.
All of the tickets bought at First Avenue were redeemable at the Varsity, with two additional shows already scheduled for Thursday and Friday. However, the last minute change (cave to public pressure) came just hours before he was set to take the stage.
First Avenue said in a Twitter post:
“Dave Chappelle has a record of being dangerous to trans people, and First Avenue has a duty to protect the community.
Chappelle’s actions uphold a violent heteronormative culture and directly violate First Avenue’s code of conduct. If staff and guests are held to this standard, performers should be too.”
We hear you. Tonight’s show has been cancelled at First Avenue and is moving to the Varsity Theater. See our full statement for more. pic.twitter.com/tkf7rz0cc7
GLAAD” said that Chappelle’s controversial comments violated Netflix’s policy about rejecting shows that bring upon hate or violence.
However, a top Netflix executive backed Chappelle, saying his bit didn’t cross “the line on hate,” and would stay on Netflix.
You can read the full statement from First Avenue below:
“The Dave Chappelle show tonight at First Avenue has been cancelled and is moving to the Varsity Theater.
To staff, artists, and our community, we hear you and we are sorry. We know we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, and we know we let you down. We are not just a black box with people in it, and we understand that First Ave is not just a room, but meaningful beyond our walls.
The First Avenue team and you have worked hard to make our venues the safest spaces in the country, and we will continue with that mission.
We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have. We know there are some who will not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback.
If you are a ticket holder, look for an email with information on your ticket(s) transferring to the show at Varsity Theater.”
And if you’re not familiar with the special, here’s a very personal and emotional portion of the show regarding Dave’s late friend Daphne Dorman… a trans woman.