On Wednesday, July 20, the performance of comedian Dave Chappelle at First Avenue in Minneapolis was canceled due to online backlash. However, First Avenue only made headlines hours before the concert was set to begin at the venue.
The cancellation of Chappelle’s show was revealed on Twitter, which sparked major controversy and polarized opinions. First Avenue reported that the event will be relocated to the Varsity Theater, which is approximately three miles distant from the original site.
The Varsity Theater announced afterward that the concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. at their site. They also stated that First Avenue tickets will be valid in the new location.
What did First Avenue in Minneapolis have to say about the canceled Dave Chappelle show?
First Avenue hinted in a tweet that internet outrage likely affected the decision to cancel Dave Chappelle’s event. Their declaration stated:
“Tonight’s Dave Chappelle performance at the First Avenue has been canceled and relocated to the Varsity Theater.” We hear you, artists and community members, and we apologize. We recognize that we must adhere to the highest standards, and we apologize if we have disappointed you. We are not only a room with people inside, and we acknowledge that First Avenue is more than a room.”
The First Avenue team continued by explaining how they encourage “differing perspectives and creative expression.” However, they stated that the crew should have understood the implications of inviting Chappelle during the transphobic statements controversy.
Additionally, First Avenue acknowledged that some individuals may disagree with the decision. People who disagreed with the decision were encouraged to contribute to the team’s message.
The termination of Dave Chappelle’s show appears to be due to the controversy over his transphobic remarks on recent comedy shows and in his Netflix special The Closer.
It is unknown why the decision to cancel the concert and organize a venue shift at the Varsity Theater was taken so swiftly. It is likely that there was some protest from the venue’s employees, as suggested by the team’s message to the “staff” and others.
In addition, a petition created on Change.org on July 19 demanded that the comic not be given a platform. This is what the petition stated:
“Dave Chappelle has a history of threatening transgender people, and First Avenue has a duty to protect the community.”
The petition, which has over 128 signatures, also references the company’s code of conduct. It read:
“Acting or speaking in a discriminatory manner, including deliberate gender confusion, or using racist, sexist, ableist, transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, or other biased language.”
Netizens are divided over Dave Chappelle’s decision to cancel a performance at the First Venue in Minneapolis.
While some transgender individuals praised the decision, others politicized the issue. A number of analysts expected that the termination of Chappelle’s show would bolster Republican support.
Others made light of the situation as Chappelle continued to perform in the city, less than three miles from Minneapolis’ First Venue.
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