Trans Rights Activists Turn Up To Protest Outside Dave Chappelle Show

Dominic Smithers

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Trans Rights Activists Turn Up To Protest Outside Dave Chappelle Show

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/Netflix

Trans rights activists turned up to protest outside a Dave Chappelle gig this week.

The controversial comedian was supposed to perform his show at the First Venue theatre in Minnesota, on Wednesday night (20 July), but the show was axed at the last minute after around 50 protesters turned up.

In a statement released by the venue, bosses said 'we hear you and we are sorry' for having booked the 48-year-old.

The announcement, which was posted to Twitter, read: "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."


It went on: "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.

"We know there are some who would not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback." 

Instead, the concert was moved to Varsity Theater, just three miles away.

Despite the change of venue, however, protesters still came out in force to make their voices heard.

One women in line to watch the gig was even seen getting involved in a heated debate with the campaigners.

A woman in line for Dave Chappelle's show gets into a debate with a protester. Credit: Getty Images
A woman in line for Dave Chappelle's show gets into a debate with a protester. Credit: Getty Images

According to the Star Tribune, Chappelle said during his show that the decision to switch venue was 'devastating', and joked that the protesters would probably "still all be out there" outside First Avenue.

However, he urged his audience to continue to support First Venue, which actually featured in Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain, because it was an "important place for our culture".

Chappelle was heavily criticised following the release of his Netflix special The Closer, which saw him make a number of barbed jokes about the trans community and gender identity.

It led to some calling for the streaming site to pull the show from its platform.

However, Netflix refused to do so, and the show has since been nominated for an Emmy Award for the variety special directing category.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers 

Topics: Celebrity, LGBTQ, US News, Film and TV, Entertainment

Dominic Smithers
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