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‘We Are Sorry… We Believe in Diverse Voices’: First Avenue Cancels Dave Chappelle Show After Intense Trans Community Backlash, Claim They Believe in ‘Artistic Freedom’

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Now it’s been quite a time since Dave Chappelle’s transphobic comments on the Netflix Special The Closer which premiered on the streaming platform in October last year but it seems that the controversy doesn’t cease to follow him till now as his recent show at First Avenue got canceled and moved to another venue Varsity Theater hours before it was scheduled to start.

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle’s show got canceled

Also Read: Got to Create a Boogeyman to Sell Tickets: Jerrod Carmichael Blasts Dave Chappelle’s Transgender Jokes

Dave Chappelle’s Show gets Canceled:

Netflix official defends Dave Chappelle
Netflix Co-CEO defended Dave Chappelle on the controversy

Hours before the show at the Minneapolis, the venue First Avenue took to Instagram to announce that the show has been canceled and moved to another venue Varsity Theater. They wrote that they are not just people in a black box but their words have meaning and are not limited to the four walls:

“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.”

They further continued that even though they believe in diverse voices and artistic freedom still while honoring that they forgot about the impact it would have on so many people:

“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.”

Soon following this, Varsity Theater took to their Twitter handle to announce the rescheduling of the show. The First Avenue also has a rich cultural significance as this venue appeared in the 1984 iconic Purple Rain movie.

Also Read: ‘Is this a special or a speech?’: Damon Wayans Criticizes Dave Chappelle For His Excessive Preaching, Says Netflix is Giving Him Specials Because He’s Famous

What is the Dave Chappelle Controversy?

Dave Chappelle controversy
Chappelle was under fire for upsetting the LGBTQ community

Last year Dave Chappelle appeared in a Netflix Special The Closer where he passed some comments on trans people and as it should be, he got embroiled in a controversy where various people wanted Netflix to remove the content from their platform.

Related: ‘So You Hate Free Speech?’: Dave Chappelle Fans Up in Arms After First Avenue Cancels Minneapolis Show, Ask If This Qualifies as ‘Artistic Freedom’

The protests not only happened outside but also inside the office where several Netflix employees walked out following the incident. But Netflix denied all the requests for removing the content as they said that it doesn’t violate any of its policies and they also have long deals with the Comedian. This resulted in the comedian and the platform receiving a mountain of criticisms from common people as well as the  LGBTQ community for the anti-trans remarks.

Read More: ‘What’s in a Name?’: Netflix Releases Controversial Dave Chappelle Video Where He Bashes Transphobia Critics, Fans Say ‘Netflix Will Do Anything For Views’

Following that the comedian didn’t stop and continued to work with the streaming platform and his latest work came a month earlier titled “What’s In a Name?” where he again stated some of his views regarding the controversy. He also continued to call The Closer a “masterpiece”. He claimed that he can tell whatever he want because he has Artistic Freedom:

“The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it,” said Chappelle. “And it has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom, of artistic expression.”

Recently The Closer also gained an Emmy Nomination. So it can’t be expected that Dave Chappelle will apologize or the platform will remove the content any sooner but sometimes it should be remembered that Artistic Freedom can’t be used to demean anyone’s race, color, or gender.

Source: People.com

Written by Subham Mandal

Subham Mandal is currently working as a writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. Subham has written more than 400 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English based in Kolkata. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.