Venue Cancels Dave Chappelle’s Sold-Out Show Over Fears He Would Upset People

A venue in Minnesota has canceled Dave Chappelle’s sold-out show just hours before it was set to take place.

First Venue released a statement revealing they would not allow the comedian on stage over fears it would upset people.

The message was posted on social media and said: “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.”

It added: “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 honor of that, we lost sight of the impact this would have.

“We know there are some who would not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback.”

His Wednesday (July 20) night show has been moved to the Varsity Theater, where he had already booked four other shows, according to Fox 9.

Ted Sarandos and Dave Chappelle.  Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy
Ted Sarandos and Dave Chappelle. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy

Rolling Stone reports activists were planning on protesting outside First Avenue to highlight the problematic things the comedian has said in the past.

The news outlet claims that protest will now be moved to outside the new venue.

Chappelle has faced backlash in the past for his jokes about the transgender community, with many in the LGBT community labeling the puns as ‘transphobic’.

His Netflix standup special The Closer sparked loads of outrage because Chappelle used derogatory language about trans peoples’ genitalia and also sided with JK Rowling.

There were calls for Netflix to pull The Closer from its streaming service, however the company stood its ground and insisted that the comedian was free to push the boundaries in the name of comedy.

Netflix co-CEO Te Sarandos said in a memo: “Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him.

“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line.

“I recognise, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries.

“Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”

Netflix’s stance caused a mass employee walk-out in October, with hundreds of staffers downing tools to protest TheCloser.

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