A Minneapolis venue canceled a Dave Chappelle show just hours before the comedian was set to take the stage.
First Avenue announced the show would not be taking place there and instead would be happening at the Varsity Theater. They addressed the backlash they were facing in an Instagram post.
“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 honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have.”
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Whatever happened to artistic expression? Whatever happened to not cowering to the mob? Chapelle is a legendary comic who could be above having his shows canceled at this point.
“When I heard those talking points coming out of these children’s faces, that really, sincerely, hurt me. Because I know those kids didn’t come up with those words. I’ve heard those words before. The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it,” Chappelle said, per Variety. “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. That is valuable to me. That is not severed from me. It’s worth protecting for me, and it’s worth protecting for everyone else who endeavors in our noble, noble professions.”
Those who are offended by what Chappelle says have the option to not attend his shows. That seems like a very fair option. That said, this show is in Minneapolis and we know what kind of damage can transpire there.
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