Dave Chappelle Brands Protesters 'Transgender Lunatics' After His Show's Cancellation
Cover Images/Seth Browarnik

The 'Closer' star reportedly dismisses the critics as a 'small group' and slams the Minneapolis' First Avenue bar after the protesters forced the venue to cancel his gig.

AceShowbiz - Dave Chappelle is said to have branded protesters "transgender lunatics." After protesters forced a venue to cancel his gig on Wednesday night, July 20, the 48-year-old comic reportedly dismissed them as a "small group," and slammed the Minneapolis' First Avenue bar for not having enough "courage" to go ahead with his sold out show.

The show had brought in almost $200,000 in sales by selling 1,500 tickets with a starting price of $129.50. Hours before it was kicked off, organizers said they were no longer willing to host the gig. The U-turn came after a Change.org petition signed by 125 people branded Chappelle transphobic, with staff members refusing to turn up to the work the event.

When it was quickly moved to the nearby Varsity Theater and went ahead uninterrupted, the stand-up comedian lashed back. According to a review of the show by local paper The Star Tribune, he told fans, "I can see a transgender hit squad from a mile off." He was also said to have laughed off transgender activists who protested outside as "lunatics."

The publication's TV critic Neal Justin quoted Chappelle as saying the small group of protesters who turned up at the show were probably "hired by his wife, determined to suck the joy out of his life." Neil added, "Early in the set, Chappelle seemed sympathetic, sharing that he had heard children of some First Avenue staffers had been threatened."

"But after a few glasses of booze (and a Foggy Geezer beer) he admitted that the cancellation had been devastating and hoped the club would be more courageous in the future," the TV critic went on noting. Phones were barred from the gig.

Members of activism group MnUprising launched the Change.org campaign for Chappelle's pre-booked show to be canceled. It complained the comedian had "harmed" them with his "transphobic" views.

Chappelle has faced down calls to be canceled since 2021 over jokes he made during a Netflix stand-up show in October 2021. He said he stood with "Harry Potter" writer J.K. Rowling and her opinion gender is a "fact." He also joked he was "team TERF," a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.

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