AceShowbiz - Dave Chappelle has been booted out of one of Minneapolis' most storied venues after he landed in hot water for his transphobic jokes. The stand-up comedian's show was canceled by First Avenue following his controversial remarks in Netflix special "The Closer".
On Wednesday, July 20, First Avenue, the iconic venue that provided the setting for Prince's "Purple Rain", announced that Dave's show would not be taking place at their theater and was instead moving to Varsity Theater. In an Instagram post, the venue addressed the social media backlash they had received after booking the funnyman.
"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," the statement added. "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 continued, "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," before stressing, "We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have."
Tickets for Dave's First Avenue gig were released on July 18 and were scooped up within minutes for the 1,550 main room capacity facility. Shortly after announcing Dave's show, First Avenue's social media was filled with comments in protest of the comedian.
"Disgusting that you are allowing Dave [Chappelle] to perform at your venue when your guild lines [sic] specifically state not homophobic or transphobic language will be tolerated," one comment read. One social media user criticized, "Well y'all did say you were a safe space for the trans community. Maybe put your money where your mouths are. Booking him wasn't the move."
Released in October 2021, "The Closer" ignited social media backlash from LGBTQ+ community as many deemed Dave's remarks about trans people offensive. Netflix employees also staged a walkout in protest.
In the controversial special, Dave said, "Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact." He went on to say, "Now, I am not saying that to say trans women aren't women, I am just saying that those p***ies that they got… you know what I mean? I'm not saying it's not p***y, but it's Beyond P***y or Impossible P***y. It tastes like p***y, but that's not quite what it is, is it? That's not blood. That's beet juice."