LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 10: Dave Chappelle looks on during UFC 264: Poirier v McGregor 3 at T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
'Disheartened': Activist reacts to Dave Chappelle's jokes about transgender people
04:21 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Hours before Dave Chappelle was set to hit the stage in Minneapolis, the venue canceled the sold-out show.

First Avenue, well known as the venue featured in Prince’s 1984 film “Purple Rain,” declined to host Chappelle’s comedy show after backlash over comments in some of his previous Netflix specials that have been criticized as transphobic.

“The Dave Chappelle show tonight at First Avenue has been canceled and is moving to the Varsity Theater,” First Avenue writes in a post on its verified Instagram account.

“To staff, artists, and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” the statement reads. “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 statement continues: “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. We know there are some who will not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback.”

Chappelle has made jokes about the trans community in sets over the years, but his 2021 Netflix special “The Closer” increased ire among some in the LGBTQ+ community and its allies after Chappelle said he was “team TERF,” the term for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”

“Gender is a fact,” Chappelle said during the special, which was nominated for two Emmy Awards earlier this month. “Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact.”

CNN has reached out to reps for Chappelle for comment.