Attendees who planned to see Dave Chappelle on Minneapolis’ famous First Avenue will have to be redirected to the Varsity Theater tonight. On Wednesday evening, the venue originally slated to host the comedian announced that it was canceling the show hours ahead of schedule.
First Avenue organizers apologized to their employees, artists and the community, and said in a statement that they must “adhere to the highest standards.”
“We are not just a black box with people in it, we understand First Ave is not just a room, but meaningful outside our walls,” the place wrote. “You and the First Avenue team have worked hard to make our places the safest places in the country, and we will continue to do so.”
Those planning to attend the show are set to receive an email with information about the comedy’s new venue, Varsity Theatre, two and a half miles away.
We heard you. Tonight’s show on First Avenue has been canceled and is moving to the Varsity Theatre. See our full statement for more. pic.twitter.com/tkf7rz0cc7
– First Avenue (@FirstAvenue) 20 July 2022
“We believe in diverse voices and freedom of artistic expression, but by paying homage to that, we’ve lost track of it,” wrote the place. We know that there are those who will not agree with this decision. You are welcome to send comments. “
The cancellation and venue change come as activists staged a protest outside the venue, which is now being moved to the Varsity Theatre. local reporter Grace Bernsteingel with MPR . News She said she spoke with “angry staff” at the venue on Tuesday, some of whom were planning to voice illness on the night of the show. A representative for First Avenue said they could not confirm whether employees had been called to work to protest the show.
First Avenue and Chappelle representatives did not immediately respond rolling rockComment requests.
Chappelle has always faced backlash for his anti-transgender jokes, particularly those that appeared on a special in October, titled Chappelle. the closest. Chappelle called himself TERF, and said Caitlyn Jenner’s “Woman of the Year” win was a BET for giving Eminem an “N-of the Year.”
The Netflix special led to employees at the streaming service quitting, asking Netflix to acknowledge the harmful impact of material like Chappelle on the LGBTQ community while also pushing the service to release more LGBTQ content.
At the time, Chappelle seemed to enjoy the controversy. A statement from the comedian said he “stands by his art” but was ostensibly open to discussing issues with the special representative. Perhaps the closest thing to this kind of conversation happened about a month later during a contentious question-and-answer session with students at the former Chapelle High School in the capital. The school had planned to name its theater after the comedian, and when students expressed concerns about the decision in light of his jokes, Chappelle responded by calling it “immature.”
This past June, Chappelle returned to high school to address the students again as the theater was officially named the Theater of Artistic Freedom and Expression. “Instead of giving this theater my name, I would like to give my message to these students,” Chappelle said in a letter that is now his latest release on Netflix, what’s in a name?