Comedian Dave Chappelle said Tuesday that people protesting his transgender jokes are the ones at fault for inciting violence, not the jokes themselves.
First Avenue, a concert venue in Minneapolis, was set to host Chappelle’s show in July 2022 but cancelled the event hours in advance following claims his Netflix special was transphobic. The event was later moved to the Varsity Theater, according to Fox 9.
During a January taping of his podcast “The Midnight Miracle,” Chappelle discussed the chaos surrounding the Minneapolis show and alleged that protesters threw eggs at the venue, police and fans. The comedian highlighted the actions of one particular protester, whom he alleged was “so mad” that she “picked up a police barricade.”
My interpretation is that Dave Chappelle’s comedy is not the point. Large media entities deploy him as a way of gauging public reaction, measuring how palatable overt transphobia is right now, and strategizing from there. https://t.co/TLH879lvQA
— Zinnia Jones 🐍 beginning to feel like a SNAKE GOD (@ZJemptv) November 12, 2022
“This bitch picked that barricade up by herself and… and threw it at the crowd. I gotta tell you, it’s an amazing feat of strength for a woman,” Chappelle quipped, according to TooFab. (RELATED: Fans Furious Over Surge-Pricing After Madonna’s Concert Tickets Are Listed For Over $5,000)
It’s crazy how ALL of Dave Chappelle’s shows in Minneapolis were completely sold out, but he was forced to leave over ‘transphobia.’
— Lowkey Rey 2.0 🇺🇸 (@AtlRey) July 22, 2022
Chappelle blamed the protesters for their actions, saying “they had the intention of inciting violence against themselves for publicity,” according to TooFab. The comedian said he felt “they wanted him to say something inflammatory.”
“They want to be feared. ‘If you say this, then we will punish you. We’ll come to First Avenue and fuck your show up and we’ll come to the Varsity Theater and fuck your show up.’ And they just don’t get to do that,” he said, according to the outlet.
Chappelle shrugged off his critics and argued the incident worked out in his favor.
“When I walked on stage, it was a huge ovation, because suddenly going to see a comedy show was this huge act of defiance,” he said during the podcast.