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The comedy world has come to the defense of comedian Dave Chappelle after his show in Minneapolis was canceled at the last minute due to backlash over past anti-transgender remarks made on the controversial Netflix show The Closer.
Dave Chappelle was originally scheduled to perform on Wednesday at the First Avenue venue, but the show was moved to a smaller stage three miles from the Varsity Theater after violent protests.
His appearance was announced on Monday and the show sold out in 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 just like him because the show must go on,” Monroe said. “I don’t want to be censored as a comedian. I say some ridiculous things on stage, it’s fun, it might make you think, but it also teaches you that I’m human.”
Monroe insisted that the venue messed up its priorities when it gave in to pressure to cancel the show.
“It’s not about race, color, size or gender, it’s about money. You don’t want to make money,” Monroe said, adding that comedians “don’t want to spew anger and hatred and bitterness. laugh.”
Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada told Fox News Digital that “the comic scene is their sanctuary. We must defend the first amendment. We cannot dilute it. We should be able to laugh at ourselves.”
Masada added that he hoped the Chappelle incident would not affect future comics. “It’s important for comedians to go outside to express themselves,” he said.
Comedian Natalie Cuomo told Fox News Digital that “no one should be censored” and people should be able to speak freely, especially after they’ve already been invited to speak.
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“The venue is already known,” she said. “Not that he released anything new after they booked them. It’s already been on Netflix. It was already available to the public. And this kind of last-minute cancellation of the show is completely unacceptable to me.”
She addressed persistent concerns about the difficulties of truly “practicing free speech” both on and off the stage.
“Some people would be scared because it seems that our ability to practice free speech and our opinion is limited,” she said. “Just because someone has an opinion that you don’t agree with doesn’t mean you can’t support it. I think it’s very, very scary that our country is so polarized.”
She added: “It gives me more room to say what I believe in because it makes me want to go further in what I feel. I don’t think it’s okay to limit what people say. I think there should always be room for whatever your beliefs are. Nobody should be censored. I don’t think Dave Chappelle has ever encouraged violence in any capacity, and if anyone were to say that, that would be a gross exaggeration.”
Chappelle has been at the center of controversy over his sixth Netflix special, “The Closer,” which was released in October and has been a hot topic of controversy ever since.
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“I don’t think it’s right that people can tell other people what they can and can’t say,” said Dani Zoldan, owner of Stand Up New York, Fox News Digital. “If people don’t want to support him… if people are offended by some of his transgender jokes, they don’t need to support him. They don’t have to watch the Netflix special. They don’t need to buy tickets. to their show.”
“But, you know, getting management — who ordered it in the first place — and putting pressure on them to cancel it is really unfortunate. Comedians joke about everyone.”
Zoldan noted that the cancellation of Wednesday night’s speech set a “dangerous precedent” for censorship, and believes his words actually offend only a small minority of the population.
“I think 99% of people don’t get 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. cancel the comic or just for fun?”
Zoldan insisted that, with creative freedom at stake, people should be able to laugh when and how they want.
“People should become brighter and be who you want. Be straight, gay, transgender, non-binary. I wish everyone the best,” Zoldan said. “Everyone should be who they want to be. At the same time, you cannot tell people what they can and cannot say. If you don’t like what someone says, don’t support them. on with your life. Worry about yourself.”
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Comedian Craig Gass, best known for The Howard Stern Show, grew up in a “completely deaf” family where his mother, father and sister all had hearing problems. He told us that “a huge number” of offensive jokes were thrown at him, but he decided not to attach any importance to them.
“The idea that anyone’s stand-up has any power over anyone doesn’t hold water, it’s ultimately what bothers people, what really hurts people’s feelings,” Gass said.
“No one was hurt physically. No one will be physically harmed by stand-up comedy unless Will Smith is in the audience, but it’s not something that will actually have any physical impact on your life. I feel sad when censorship takes up its ugly face. chapter.”
Gass found it “surprising” that First Avenue, made famous by the movie Purple Rain, canceled a concert on the day of the event.
“It’s not a comedy club, but it’s amazing that they were a place that supported… it was a platform for artists to come in and express themselves in any way they wanted. And, you know, this is where the Prince had sex on the floor and explained to Apollonia how she needed to be with him. And 35 years later, there are people whose feelings are hurt that Dave Chappelle wanted to tell jokes on this stage.”
Gass added, “You can’t censor, especially if you like stand-up comedy and you like everything except for the joke that’s close to you. I will always respectfully defend the right of any comedian to say anything. they want.”
At the Wednesday night show, Chappelle wondered if the crowd of people who had gathered to protest his appearance on First Avenue would “still be there”, but the local Star Tribune reported that the crowds had left by the time the curtains closed.
Chappelle, 48, also told viewers he sees the decision to reschedule the show as “devastating” and asked fans to continue to support the iconic nightclub, which is known for being Prince’s hometown venue.
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“This is an important place for our culture,” he told the Tribune.
About 50 trans human rights activists lined up outside First Avenue to demonstrate against Chappelle’s show.
A rep for Chappelle did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
In “Closer” Chappelle discussed disputes around gender identity and continues to defend its right to creative freedom despite strong backlash.
Chappelle released a new Netflix comedy special earlier this month centering on a speech he gave at his alma mater after they turned down their offer to rename the theater after him.
His lecture at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC in November was the focus of What’s in a Name, where he recalled how students reacted to offensive jokes made on Closer and how he had to defend his voice not only for its sake, but so that future generations could express theirs opinion.
“When I heard these theses coming from the faces of these children, it really, sincerely, hurt me,” Chappelle said. “Because I know those kids didn’t come up with those words. I’ve heard these words before. The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgently I need to say it.”
“And it has nothing to do with what you are saying, I cannot say. This is directly related to my right, my freedom of artistic expression. This is valuable to me. It’s not detached from me. protection for me, and it’s worth protecting for all others who strive in our noble, noble professions.”
“And these kids didn’t realize that they were tools of oppression. And I didn’t get mad at them. They’re kids. They’re first years. They’re not ready yet. They don’t know.”
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