Following internet outcry, comedian Dave Chappelle’s gig at Minneapolis’ First Avenue was canceled on Wednesday, July 20. However, First Avenue made the news only hours before the show’s scheduled start time at the venue.
The cancellation of Chappelle’s program was announced on Twitter, sparking significant controversy and divided reactions. To address the situation, First Avenue stated that the concert will be moved to the Varsity Theater, which is about three miles away from the original location. Later, the Varsity Theater stated that the performance would begin at 8:00 p.m. at their location. They also said that tickets purchased at First Avenue will be honored at the new location.
What did Minneapolis’ First Avenue have to say about Dave Chappelle’s canceled show?
First Avenue implied in their tweet that the decision to cancel Dave Chappelle’s concert was likely influenced by internet outrage. Their statement stated:
“The Dave Chappelle event at First Avenue tonight has been canceled and moved to the Varsity Theater. We hear you, artists, and members of our community, and we apologize. We understand that we must hold ourselves to the greatest standards, and we regret if we have let you down. We are not simply a black box with people inside, and we recognize that First Avenue is more than just a room.”
The First Avenue team went on to explain how they promote “different views and creative expression.” They did, however, say that the crew should have recognized the significance of inviting Chappelle in the midst of the uproar over transphobic remarks. At the same time, First Avenue recognized some who may object to the decision. People who disagreed with the choice were urged to offer their thoughts in the team’s statement.
The cancellation of Dave Chappelle’s program looks to be related to the uproar over his transphobic remarks in recent comedy shows and his Netflix special The Closer. However, it is unclear why the decision to cancel the event and subsequently organize a venue change with the Varsity Theater was made so quickly. It is probable that there was some opposition from the venue’s employees, as implied by the team addressing the “staff” amongst others in their message.
Furthermore, a recent Change.org petition, launched on July 19, urged that the comic not be given a platform. The petition stated:
“Dave Chappelle has a history of endangering trans individuals, and First Avenue has a responsibility to safeguard the community.”
The petition, which has received over 128 signatures, also cited the firm’s code of conduct. It said:
“Acting or speaking in a discriminatory way, including purposeful misgendering, or employing racist, sexist, ableist, transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, or other prejudiced words.”
Netizens are divided over Dave Chappelle’s cancellation of a gig at Minneapolis’ First Venue.
While some members of the trans community supported the ruling, others politicized the matter. Some predicted that the cancellation of Chappelle’s program would increase Republican support. Meanwhile, others made fun of the situation while Chappelle continued to play in the city, barely three miles away from Minneapolis’ First Venue.
Moronic decision. Literally throwing away money to appease a minority of shrieking harpies who wouldn’t have come to see Dave Chappelle anyways. Oh well, it’s First Avenue’s loss. https://t.co/W0AgY33pk9
— Oliver Jia (オリバー・ジア) (@OliverJia1014) July 21, 2022
Every time Dave Chappelle has a show canceled by leftist lunatics, Republicans gain votes.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) July 21, 2022