(Daily Mail) A Minneapolis theater canceled Dave Chappelle‘s sold-out show at the 11th hour after left-wing group threatened violence if the star was allowed to perform.
First Avenue, a storied Minneapolis venue, canceled the show just hours before the famous comedian, 48, was supposed to hit the stage.
‘We know we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, and we know we let you down,’ it wrote in a statement. ‘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 said it ‘lost sight of the impact’ it would have when booking Chapelle for a show, but said it believed in providing ‘diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression’ to its audience.
First Avenue was forced into the climbdown after left-wing group MnUprising encouraged its supporters to ‘cover their faces and stay dangerous’ to protest ‘transphobe’ Chappelle outside the venue on Wednesday evening.
The show has since been moved to Varsity Theater – which is not owned by First Avenue – after it released a statement apologizing to its ‘staff, artists, and our community.’
First Avenue also recognized that ‘some will not agree with this decision’ and encouraged feedback.
Calls for the show to be canceled came shortly after the show sold out in five minutes on Monday. Chappelle has been facing backlash since his Netflix special, where he made jokes at the expense of the transgender community.
Varsity Theater announced the move on Twitter and said it would a ‘phone-free experience.’
Many critics were quick to at jump Varsity Theater for its requirement, claiming it was covering up the Ohioan’s controversy jokes.
‘”Phone-free experience” aka you don’t want recordings of him going on a transphobic tirade in your venue,’ on Twitter user wrote.
Another Twitter user name Nina criticized First Avenue, writing: ‘I hope you also make a donation to a trans organization and apologize to your trans staff.’
However, many fans were irritated by the show’s canceling, and said First Avenue’s decision gave Chappelle a new bit.