Emmy Award-winning American comedian Dave Chappelle had his show canceled on Thursday shortly before he was supposed to take the stage following controversy over his jokes about transgender people.
Chappelle had a scheduled performance at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but the venue announced that the show was canceled and would be moved to another place.
“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 venue tweeted.
First Avenue said it supports freedom of expression but that it “lost sight of the impact this would have.” The show was eventually moved to Varsity Theater.
The comedian faced backlash from the LGBTQ community after his recent Netflix special ‘The Closer’, in which he made comments about transgender genitalia, drawing the ire of advocacy groups that said his remarks could lead to transgender people being harmed.
He has also spoken out in defense of J.K. Rowling, the author of the ‘Harry Potter’ series of books, who has been harshly criticized for comments deemed by some to be transphobic.
Dave Chappelle, famed for his comedy sketches and stand-up routines, was dubbed “the comic genius of America” in 2006 by Esquire magazine. He has won five Emmy Awards and three Grammys, as well as the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.