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Dave Chappelle show at Minneapolis’ First Avenue canceled after online backlash

“To staff, artists, and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” the venue said in a statement on its website, announcing that Wednesday's show had been canceled.
Dave Chappelle Theatre Dedication Ceremony
Dave Chappelle onstage at Duke Ellington School of the Arts on June 20, 2022, in Washington. Minneapolis' First Avenue on Wednesday canceled Chappelle's show after facing backlash for booking the comedian.Brian Stukes / WireImage

Minneapolis' First Avenue on Wednesday canceled a Dave Chappelle show at the last minute after facing public backlash for booking the comedian.

“To staff, artists, and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” the venue said in a statement, announcing that the evening’s show had been canceled.

The decision came after an online petition on “Dave Chappelle has a record of being dangerous to trans people, and First Avenue has a duty to protect the community," the petition, which had just over 120 signatures as of early Thursday morning, said.

"Chappelle’s actions uphold a violent heteronormative culture and directly violate First Avenue’s code of conduct," it said. "If staff and guests are held to this standard, performers should be too.” 

Chappelle has faced widespread backlash over the past year over comments he made about transgender people in his Netflix special "The Closer."

The comedian's Wednesday act at First Avenue was moved to Varsity Theater, which said it would honor all First Avenue tickets that were originally purchased for the show. Separate shows had already been scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the Varsity Theater.

In its statement, First Avenue said its team and patrons had "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," the theater said.

It also acknowledged that "there are some who will not disagree with this decision," and said those with complaints were "welcome to send feedback."

Representatives for Chappelle did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.