Dave Chappelle's comedy show cancelled by venue over controversy

Dave Chappelle’s show in Minnesota was cancelled by the comedy club he was due to perform at over his recent controversy..

In the special, he called himself part of ‘team terf’ (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), defended JK Rowling’s comments about transgender people, and said: ‘Gender is a fact.’

Sharing a statement on Instagram, venue First Avenue said they were cancelling Chappelle’s performance as they have a mission to ‘make [their] venues the safest spaces in the country’.

The statement read: ‘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 now 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 First Avenue team and you have worked hard to make our venues the safest space in the country and we will continue with that mission.

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‘We believe in diverse voices and freedom of artistic expression but in honouring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have. We know there are some who will not agree with this decision. You are welcome to send feedback.

‘If you are a ticket holder, look for an email with information on your ticket(s) transferring to the show at Varsity Theater.’

Chappelle, 48, has not publicly commented on the cancellation, but has previously defended his jokes.

Last year, Chappelle suggested that the backlash was down to ‘corporate interests’ and said that the members of the LGBTQ+ community that he knows have been supportive of him.


‘I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that’s not what it is,’ he said.

‘Do not blame the LGBTQ community for any of this. It’s about corporate interests, and what I can say, and what I cannot say.

‘For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been loving and supporting, so I don’t know what this nonsense is about.’

In his comedy special, Chappelle addressed transphobic jokes he has made in the past, and said: ‘Any of you who have ever watched me know that I have never had a problem with transgender people. If you listen to what I’m saying, clearly, my problem has always been with white people.’

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Proclaiming himself as ‘team terf’ while defending Harry Potter author Rowling, who previously claimed that trans people erase the concept of sex and same-sex attraction, Chappelle 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. 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.’

The comic then defended his jokes by saying that trans comedian Daphne Dorman, who he shouted out on one of his specials months before she took her own life, loved his punchlines.

He said that he wouldn’t be doing any more LGBTQ+ jokes until ‘we are both sure that we are laughing together. I’m telling you, it’s done. I’m done talking about it. All I ask of your community, with all humility: Will you please stop punching down on my people.’

Despite the backlash, The Closer received two Emmy nominations.

Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Dave Chappelle for comment.

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