Comedian Dave Chapelle’s stand-up show in Minneapolis, Minnesota has been postponed to Wednesday, just hours before it was scheduled to start.
First Avenue, the famous location that was the setting for Prince’s “Purple Rain,” has revealed that the show will instead be held at the Varsity Theatre. The venue responded to criticism she saw on social media for hiring Chappelle, who became part of the controversy this year after the Netflix special “The Closer” was criticized for being a transphobic joke in an Instagram post.
Attention Dave Chappelle fans! The show scheduled for tonight at First Ave has now moved to the Varsity Theater. Tickets on First Ave are precious. Doors open at 8pm, so it’s a good idea to arrive early.
This event will be a phone-free experience. pic.twitter.com/khrphmqZo
— Varsity Theater (@VarsityTheater) July 20, 2022
“Everyone, we apologize after hearing the stories of the staff, artists, and community members. We know we must maintain the highest standards and you will be disappointed. We know that First Avenue is more than just a room, it has meaning outside the walls too. We are not just a black box with people in it. “You and the First Avenue team have worked hard to make our location the safest place in the country, and we will continue that effort. We respect freedom of expression and the right to artistic expression, but in doing so we have not considered the consequences.
TMZ reported that tickets sold out rapidly, but after Chappelle’s event was announced earlier this week, social media on First Avenue was flooded with criticism of the cartoon. It’s disgusting to allow Dave when the guild rules (literally) state that homophobic or transphobic language is not allowed. [Chappelle] One commenter writes to play a game at your place.
Every time these institutions respond with a response like “We heard your voice loud and clear!” every show Chappelle does is sold out, so unlike fans who fill the sold-out venues, there are 10 things you’ve heard on social media. It was like bullshit.
— Mike (Chuck Fletcher’s #1 fan) (@Boston__Sucks) July 21, 2022
In addition to two additional performances on July 21 and 22, the Wednesday play is currently taking place at Dinkytown’s Varsity Theater.
So, in theatre, were you worried that people would intentionally buy tickets, intentionally attend the show, and be offended? Ha ha ha
— Marky Mark (@MarkyUSA) July 21, 2022
In a recent speech at her alma mater posted on Netflix, Chappelle repeated the gag defense by praising artistic expression. Chappelle said in her speech that she decided to call the school theater a theater for artistic freedom and expression rather than naming her after her in “What’s in the Name?” Chapelle said that she made the choice after discussing it with the children at school after protesting her remarks in ‘Closer’.