Dave Chappelle’s Minneapolis show was canceled because his act is transphobic

Dave Chappelle is a transphobe. You can dress it up however you want, you can try to justify it however you want, but Dave doesn’t care. It’s his thing now, to be bitter and bigoted against one specific marginalized community. It’s how he gets “laughs.” He revels in making people uncomfortable. He thinks it’s all a joke, the fact that he’s targeting, mocking and otherizing transgender people in his act. What’s also awful about it is that his comedian friends are like “right on, dude, you’re the best!” Just because someone was funny and groundbreaking twenty years ago, doesn’t mean they’re still that person. Anyway, Dave was supposed to perform at a Minneapolis comedy club last night. The club canceled his performance after their staff protested, and after they got a lot of pushback from other people.

A Dave Chappelle stand-up show in Minneapolis, Minn. was canceled on Wednesday, just hours before the comedian was set to perform.

First Avenue, the iconic venue that provided the setting for Prince’s “Purple Rain,” announced that the show would not be taking place at their theater and was instead moving to Varsity Theater. In an Instagram post, the venue addressed the social media backlash they had received after booking Chappelle, who has had his share of controversy this year after his Netflix special “The Closer” was criticized for transphobic jokes.

“To staff, artists and our community, we hear you and we are sorry. 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 statement reads. “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. We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have.”

After announcing Chappelle’s show earlier this week, First Avenue’s social media was filled with comments in protest of the comedian, though TMZ reported that tickets quickly sold out. “Disgusting that you are allowing Dave [Chappelle] to perform at your venue when your guild lines [sic] specifically state not homophobic or transphobic language will be tolerated,” one comment reads.

[From Variety]

Good. I hope this continues, not just for Chappelle but for all comedians who can’t buy a f–king clue that their acts are harming marginalized communities. While this involves a venue canceling a notorious transphobe, this actually isn’t cancel culture. First Avenue understood that they would be economically harmed long-term if they gave a platform to transphobes. And Chappelle still has the right to tell his jokes somewhere else, but he’s not free from the consequences of being a hateful a–hole.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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26 Responses to “Dave Chappelle’s Minneapolis show was canceled because his act is transphobic”

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  1. Colby says:

    I am so puzzled that he has made this his hill to die on. Why does this matter so much to him?! Maybe it’s just his contrarian nature – when someone tells him he’s wrong, he goes 10x harder?

    I always want to guide people to Kat Williams’ discussion on cancel culture. Though Kat has had his own issues, he actually gets it in this respect.

    • @poppedbubble says:

      In one recent interview, I think it may be his latest Netflix special (I didn’t watch it) I think he out and out said that when people tell him he can’t/shouldn’t do something it just means he’s gonna do it. His stand up really has become angrier and the doubling down just to double down even though people are telling him why it’s hurtful is mindboggling. I mean one of the reasons he left Chappelle Show was because even though he used the n-word, he felt the white higher ups reveled in it in a racist, harmful way. So if he felt that way about that, why can’t he understand what he is doing to the transgender community.

      • florencia says:

        So agree. And I get the desire to push back, generally speaking, when someone tells you can’t do something, it can be a helpful and strong trait in finding your own path and success in life. But at some point it also becomes churlish and immature, it’s basically Chappelle, who at this point has a deeply privileged life, throwing a temper tantrum like a spoiled, shitty child.

  2. Chanteloup says:

    Fuck Dve Chappelle. He’s free to tell his jokes, and I’m free to tell him he he’s a giant fucking cowardly asshole. So glad the staff protests got his shit out of there.
    Power to the people.

    Edited to add: I see I didn’t spell his name right and I don’t care. He doesn’t deserve the attention.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    He is such a mean spirited man! He is so nasty and vicious and he keeps leaning into it. There are things that I am still learning with regards to transgendered people and somethings that I find confusing but I am here to support this community because it is MY community. We are all on the planet together. Why can’t we listen and respect each other? Why is this so difficult???

  4. Amy Bee says:

    Chappelle Show may have been groundbreaking at the time but having rewatched the show last year a lot of the skits didn’t age well. He’s not funny and punching down is not comedy.

  5. Christina says:


  6. HeyKay says:

    Just because someone was funny and popular 20 years ago, doesn’t mean their act can stay the same forever.
    Comedians, especially once they become Big, need fresh material constantly.

    Chapelle needs to put his ego aside, consider getting off his soap box declaring himself
    “I am the defender of free speech. I am Dave Chapelle, untouchable.” Bullsh*t, be funny.
    Bill Burr is also doing this 100% lately. Seen his new Netflix show from Red Rocks? Awful, stale material, and not funny. Not funny is a sign to stay off the road until you have new material that is funny.

    I’m in Minnesota and the local news yesterday was reporting Chapelle shows sold out in 5 minutes at First Avenue, he was adding extra shows at a different location.
    Tickets at $130. No one is funny enough to get me to spend that on a ticket.

    • TIFFANY says:

      I never found Bill Barr funny to begin with. He entire thing is just being awful.

      • LIONE says:

        And also: who said free speech doesn’t come with consequences?

        Let’s face it, for most celebrities it doesn’t, and that’s what he’s riding on. Nasty man.

        He also gives me the same vibe as homophobic gay men that use most of their life in toxic masculinity suppressing who they are, only to realise their hate was hate against themselves, later on in life.
        He might be surpressing something deep inside him. (Not saying he’s trans but he might have some lack of self awareness and suppressing some sides to himself, and therefore hate people who are self aware).

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      I watched the Burr show and found it funny – as a counterpoint

  7. Lala11_7 says:

    I got Family in Minneapolis and the ICONIC music scene that EXPLODED in the 80s due to Prince/Andre Cymone/Flyte Tyme etc❤…. was nurtured and fostered in a community that stood for damn near EVERYTHING that Chappell currently despises…☹

    I got teary-eyed 😢 reading this…cause First Avenue…is HOME ❤ to SO many people I 💘

    • GR says:

      @lala11_7 – Right? If Prince were still around, I can’t believe he’d support this kind of bigotry.

    • Milkweed says:

      Lala, same!!! 🥹💜🎶 First Ave was my home club and I’m in CA now with a trans kid and I’m just blown away by them doing this.

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I have never thought this man was funny. I thoroughly disliked him from his beginnings. And I’m thoroughly happy the world is catching up.

  9. Sally says:

    I don’t understand why he can’t see that mocking a marginalized population can be so harmful and dangerous. How is it different than a white person repeatedly mocking black people? Most people would consider that unacceptable. He’s adding fuel to the bigotry in this country and it’s absolutely unnecessary.

    • AMA1977 says:

      So many terrible people actively reveling in their awfulness and deserving of scorn/mocking/derision…make some comedy out of the dumpster fire of idiocy we are currently suffering from, and the cynical opportunists who lit the match. Leave trans people who are minding their own business out of it. It hurts my heart to see this kind of abuse being heaped on people who have done nothing to deserve it other than live life in a way that feels authentic to them.

  10. Lili says:

    i was in the park the other day having just an ice cream from the ice cream van and some dude walks up to me and started being a little flirty saying i should give him my ice cream i said to him do you remember eddie murphy and we both burst out laughing even though we couldnt remember the joke verbatum. to me thats the sign of a good comedian. there have been some good ones Bernie mac You don’t understand gets me going everytime Chappelle i dont have time for and im glad people finally stood up to him

    • AMA1977 says:

      Yes!! Sorry for the back-to-back comments. My husband sings that song to my daughter every time she gets an ice cream from the ice cream truck. And “LEMONADE, that cooool refreshing drink!” and “Lillian may NOT use the phone!” I’d put Jim Gaffigan up there as one who is quotable and hilarious and not problematice. Bernie Mac is also a treasure. There are lots of great comedians who punch up.

      Dave just seems bitter and angry and incapable of growth. Admitting you were wrong and will do better is only seen as weakness by stupid, toxic people. It is a strength to be sure.

  11. Nicegirl says:

    This asshole

  12. Ariel says:

    It is amazing how cutting edge and truthful comics turn into entitled, old white men (whether they are white or not) once they have power and money.
    It is disappointing. Chappelle was WILDLY funny back in the day.

    Really, when you fail at humanity in comparison to Katt Williams, who is a raunchy comedian – it may be time to reevaluate.

  13. Jen says:

    His “Killing Them Softly” routine was and still is my favorite. I loved his comedy and went to watch him perform twice. But I can’t stomach his more recent material. He’s just angry and offensive.

  14. House of No says:

    He has used his platform for anger and appealing to the lowest common denominator: the ignorant. While hilarious decades ago, he’s no longer funny, and I think that’s why he’s so angry. What is he satirizing? Nothing and nobody. To satirize, you must punch up, not down, and you resort to bullying when you cannot do the former.

    Also, I don’t think he can tell a joke anymore. Once he became “mainstream,” he had to whitewash his material to appeal to his new audience, and maybe, he’s angry with himself for losing his original base.

  15. ej says:

    The stunt queen that escaped to Africa running out of stunts. Fuck him. Bye.