Comedians Defend Dave Chappelle Over Canceled Minnesota Show: ‘Nobody Should Be Censored’
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The comedy world has risen to the defense of comedian Dave Chappelle after his Minneapolis show was canceled at the last minute due to backlash over anti-trans remarks made on controversial Netflix show ‘The Closer’ .
Dave Chappelle was originally scheduled to perform at the First Avenue Concert Hall on Wednesday, but the show was moved to a smaller stage three miles away at the Varsity Theater following heavy protests.
Her appearance was announced on Monday and tickets for the show sold out within minutes.
Comedian Flame Monroe, who is transgender, told Fox News Digital that free speech is paramount when it comes to protecting “the safest place” on Earth – the stage.
“When I grow up I want to be like him, because guess what, the show has to go on,” Monroe said. “I don’t want to be censored as a comedian. I say ridiculous things on stage, it’s hilarious, it can make you think, but it also teaches you that I’m a human being.”
Monroe insisted the venue had its priorities mixed when they bowed to pressure to cancel the show.
“It’s not about race, color, height or gender, it’s about money. You don’t want to make money,” Monroe said, adding that comedians “don’t want to not spitting anger, hatred and bitterness. You want people to laugh.”
Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada told Fox News Digital that “the comic book scene is their sanctuary. We have to protect the First Amendment. We can’t water it down. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves. “
Masada added that he hopes the Chappelle incident doesn’t affect future comics. “It’s important for comedians to go out there, to express themselves,” he said.
Comedian Natalie Cuomo told Fox News Digital that “nobody should be censored” and that people should be able to speak freely, especially once they’ve already been booked to perform.
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“The venue already knew that,” she said. “It’s not like he released anything new after they booked them. It was already on Netflix. It was already publicly available. And canceling a show at the last minute like that is quite unacceptable to me.”
She addressed lingering concerns about the difficulties of truly being able to “practice free speech” on or off stage.
“For some people it would scare them away because there seems to be a downside to our ability to practice free speech and our opinion,” she said. “Just because someone has an opinion you don’t agree with doesn’t mean you can’t support them in any way. I think it’s really, really scary that our country is so polarized in this way.”
She added: “It gives me more power to say what I believe because it makes me want to go further with what I feel. I don’t think it’s okay to limit what people say. I think there should always be a space for whatever your beliefs No one should be censored I don’t think Dave Chappelle ever encouraged violence in any capacity, and anyone saying that is a gross exaggeration.
Chappelle was at the center of controversy over his sixth special with Netflix, “The Closer,” which was released in October and has since sparked waves of heated debate.
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“I don’t think it’s fair that people can tell other people what they can and can’t say,” Dani Zoldan, owner of Stand Up New York, told Fox News Digital. “If people don’t want to support him… if people are offended by some of his transgender jokes, they don’t have to support him. They don’t have to watch the Netflix special. They don’t have to to buy tickets to their show.”
“But, you know, forcing management – who booked it in the first place – and pressuring them to cancel, it’s really unfortunate. The comedians make jokes about everyone.”
Zoldan noted that Wednesday night’s cancellation set a “dangerous precedent” for censorship, and believes only a small minority of the population is actually insulted by his lyrics.
“I think 99% of people aren’t offended by jokes,” he said. “I think it’s the 1% who just have a lot of free time and make a lot of noise. People work, people need to earn money, people need to support their families. Like who has time, you know, to try to cancel a comic or for jokes?”
With artistic freedom at stake, Zoldan insisted that people should be able to laugh when and how they want.
“People should relax and be whoever you want. Be straight, gay, trans, non-binary. I wish everyone the best,” Zoldan said. “Everyone should be who they want to be. At the same time, you can’t tell people what they can and can’t say. If you don’t like what someone says, don’t support them. said, get moving get on with your life. Worry about yourself.
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Comedian Craig Gass, who rose to fame on ‘The Howard Stern Show’, grew up in a “completely deaf” family with his mother, father and sister each having hearing loss. He told Us that a “tremendous amount” of offensive jokes were thrown at him, but he chose not to give them weight.
“The idea that anyone’s stand-up has power over anyone doesn’t hold up, that’s ultimately what bothers people, what really hurts is people’s feelings. “, said Gass.
“No one was physically harmed. No one will be physically harmed from a stand-up comedy routine unless Will Smith is in the audience, but it’s not something that’s actually going to have a physical impact on your life. It’s sad for me when censorship gets ugly.”
Gass found it “surprising” that First Avenue, made famous by the movie “Purple Rain”, canceled the concert on the day of the event.
“It’s not a comedy club, but it’s surprising that they’ve been a place that’s been supportive…that’s been a platform for artists to come in and express themselves the way they want. And, you know that’s where Prince had sex on the floor and told Apollonia she needed to be with him And 35 years later there are people whose feelings are hurt than Dave Chappelle wanted to tell jokes about this scene.
Gass added: “You can’t censor, especially if you love stand-up comedy, and you enjoy anything but the joke that hit you close to home. I will always respectfully uphold any comedian’s right to say no.” whatever they want.”
On Wednesday night’s show, Chappelle wondered if the crowd of people who had gathered to protest his First Avenue appearance would be “still there”, but the local Star Tribune reported crowds left when the curtains called.
Chappelle, 48, also told members of the public he thought the decision to move the show was ‘devastating’ and asked fans to continue supporting the iconic nightclub known as Prince’s hometown venue .
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“It’s an important place for our culture,” he said, via the Tribune.
About 50 trans rights protesters lined up in front of First Avenue to demonstrate against Chappelle’s show.
A representative for Chappelle did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
In “The Closer”, Chappelle discussed controversies surrounding gender identity and continued to defend his right to artistic freedom despite strong backlash.
A new Netflix comedy special from Chappelle was released under the radar earlier this month, focusing on a speech he gave at his alma mater after he declined their offer to rename a theater after him.
His lecture at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, in November was the main focus of the show, “What’s in a Name”, where he recalled how the students reacted to the offensive jokes made in “The Closer” and how he had to defend his voice not only for him, but also so that future generations can express their own opinions.
“When I heard those talking points coming out of those kids’ faces, it really, genuinely hurt me,” Chappelle said. “Because I know those kids couldn’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.”
“And it has nothing to do with what you say I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom, of artistic expression. It has value to me. It doesn’t bother me. is not cut. It is worth protecting for me, and it is worth protecting for all who strive in our noble and noble professions.”
“And those kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression. And I didn’t get mad at them. They’re kids. They’re freshmen. They’re not ready yet. . They do not know.”
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