Minneapolis venue First Avenue has cancelled a performance by Dave Chappelle after receiving an online backlash.
The show at the intimate venue was only announced at the last minute and immediately sold-out First Avenue. However, the LGBTQ+ community criticised their decision to host Chappelle, leading to them cancelling the show. Hours after they revealed it had been called off, it was announced the performance would be moving to the larger Varsity Theatre.
Following the release of Chappelle’s Emmy-nominated Netflix special, The Closer, the LGBTQ+ community accused him of being transphobic, which is why they didn’t want him to perform at the venue.
While detailing the incident in a statement, the venue said: “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 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 honouring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have. We know there are some who would not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback.”
Chappelle is yet to respond to the show’s cancellation publicly.