Comedian Dave Chappelle has generated headlines again, though this time it wasn’t because of anything he said.
In fact, he didn’t get to say anything at all.
According to reports on Wednesday, a theater in Minneapolis, First Avenue, announced that it was canceling Chappelle’s show just hours before it was set to begin due to pushback from activists who claimed that his performance would have been harmful to the “community.”
“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 theater said in a somewhat groveling statement.
The owners went on to say the theater had “lost sight of the impact” when it booked Chappelle, further claiming it believed in providing “diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression” to its audience while hypocritically silencing the comedian.
“This theater in Minneapolis booked and promoted a live show by Dave Chappelle,” investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted. “Activists objected, demanding they cancel it because the show ‘harms’ them and puts them in ‘danger.’ The theater capitulated and apologized for the ‘harm.’ The show will now be in a different theater.”
This theater in Minneapolis booked and promoted a live show by Dave Chappelle. Activists objected, demanding they cancel it because the show "harms" them and puts them in "danger." The theater capitulated and apologized for the "harm." The show will now be in a different theater:
— Glenn Greenwald
“Within the framework of liberal culture, it is difficult to avoid observing that Chappelle protests like the one in Minneapolis entail overwhelmingly white liberal activists trying to silence one of history’s most brilliant and successful Black comedians,” Greenwald added in another tweet.
Within the framework of liberal culture, it is difficult to avoid observing that Chappelle protests like the one in Minneapolis entail overwhelmingly white liberal activists trying to silence one of history's most brilliant and successful Black comedians:
— Glenn Greenwald
Chappelle’s show was moved to Varsity Theater, which is not owned by the cowards at First Venue, who went on to apologize to “staff, artists, and our community.”
They also remarked that “some will not agree with this decision” while encouraging feedback in what was a weak, half-hearted attempt to mollify Chappelle fans who were
upset that the show was canceled — and for the reason it was canceled.
Breaking: Militant far-left groups in Minneapolis are calling for a violent direct action against Dave Chappelle's show tonight. They led an onslaught against & successfully pressured it to cancel. Now show has moved to the .
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈
In a testament to the popularity of Chappelle, his show sold out in five minutes. But not long after, shrieks to cancel it by the legitimately fascistic left began, with the whiners taking to to file a petition.
“Dave Chappelle has a record of being dangerous to trans people, and First Avenue has a duty to protect the community. Chappelle’s actions uphold a violent heteronormative culture and directly violate First Avenue’s code of conduct. If staff and guests are held to this standard, performers should be too,” it said.
Last month, Chappelle took his woke critics to task over their repeated attempts to cancel him.
According to Indie Wire, streaming giant Netflix released “a 40-minute video, being deemed a stand-up special on the Netflix homepage, capturing Chappelle’s speech at his former high school for what should have been a theater renaming ceremony.”
The video, titled, “What’s In A Name?” features the comedian lecturing teens while also defending his past jokes aimed at LGBTQ individuals:
In “What’s in a Name?,” Chappelle calls his previous controversial Netflix stand-up special “The Closer” a misunderstood “masterpiece” and said he was “sincerely hurt” by the Duke Ellington School students after a tense Q&A held in November 2021 during which the adolescents voiced their concerns over his transphobic comments.
The comedian continued that the students’ comments have only fueled his desire to further make jokes at the expense of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it,” Chappelle explained. “It has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right and my freedom of artistic expression.
“It’s worth protecting for me, and it’s worth protecting for everyone else who endeavors in our noble professions. These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” Chappelle noted further.