Theater Bullied Into Canceling Chappelle Show

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Comedian Dave Chappelle is being canceled, quite literally, after outrage over Chappelle’s slated Wednesday performance at a Minnesota venue following claims his Netflix special was transphobic.

First Avenue, a concert venue in Minneapolis, was set to host Chappelle’s show Wednesday night but canceled the event just hours in advance, citing pushback. The event was moved to the Varsity Theater, according to Fox 9.

“To staff, artists, and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” First Avenue said in a statement. “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 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,” First Avenue added.

“We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring 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.”

First Avenue announced Chappelle’s performance Monday, sparking criticism.

“Read these comments,” self-proclaimed activist KTM aka Guante said. “You’re platforming someone who is deliberately choosing to target trans people at a specific historical moment in which those actual people’s actual lives are in actual danger (even more than usual). That context matters. Or at least it should.”

Another Twitter user said First Avenue deliberately withheld the announcement until last minute and that hosting Chappelle was “not a good look. AT ALL.” (RELATED: ‘Political Correctness Has Killed Comedy’: Steve Harvey Slams Cancel Culture)

Minneapolis City Council President Andrea Jenkins said there are “real-world consequences” about cracking jokes about gender.

“The real-world consequences are that it’s okay to criminalize, villainize, traumatize transgender, gender non-conforming, gender-creative people,” Jenkins said, according to Fox 9. “That our lives don’t matter. That you should conform to the American standards of gender if you want to be respected in this culture and society. And I think that’s extremely dangerous.”

Chappelle came under fire after stating that “gender is a fact” in his “The Closer” special.

“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,” Chappelle said during his special.