Hours before Wednesday’s Dave Chappelle show in Minneapolis, it was moved to a different venue after First Avenue cancelled following a wave of backlash from LGBTQ supporters.
Chappelle’s anti-trans jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer” have put trans supporters at odds with both the comedian and the streamer, who has stood by him.
In a statement shared to Twitter and instagram, First Avenue wrote, “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 statement reads. “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.”
The show has been moved to the Varsity Theater in the Dinkytown neighborhood of Minneapolis, where two additional shows were previously added for Thursday and Friday.
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
— First Avenue (@FirstAvenue) July 20, 2022
Chappelle’s controversial Netflix special, which was released in October, prompted a mass walkout from Netflix employees and supporters. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos later doubled down on his support for the comedian, writing an internal memo urging anyone who is “offended” by the company’s content to quit.