Dave Chappelle On Meeting Trans Activists: They Wanted To Incite ‘Violence Against Themselves For Publicity’
WASHINGTON, D.C. - JUNE 20: Comedian Dave Chappelle speaks at the dedication of the theater at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. on June 20, 2022. The auditorium was set to be renamed for alum Dave Chappelle but, in a surprise move, he asked the theater to be named Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades / For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Legendary comedian Dave Chappelle recently slammed transgender activists during an episode of his new podcast over a protest they staged at one of his events last year.

Chappelle made the remarks on his “The Midnight Miracle” podcast with co-hosts Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey.

“I guess apparently they had made a pledge to the public at large that they would make their club a safe space for all people, and that they would ban anything they deemed transphobic,” Chappelle said. “This is a wild stance for an artistic venue to take, especially one that’s historically a punk rock venue.”

Chappelle then described what happened at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, the venue he switched to after the previous one canceled his show.

“These were grown people of various genders and gender identities,” Chappelle said. “They threw eggs. They threw eggs at the [fans] who were lined up to see the show.”

“One lady was so mad with the protesters, she picked up a police barricade,” Chappelle continued. “You ever seen one? They look like a bike rack. This b**** picked that barricade up by herself and threw it at the crowd. I gotta tell you, it’s an amazing feat of strength for a woman.”

Chappelle said that people inside the theater were extremely happy to see him “because suddenly going to see a comedy show was this huge act of defiance.”

“I don’t think anyone had any malicious intent. In fact, one of the things that these people, the trans and their surrogates, always say is that my jokes are somehow gonna be the root cause of some impending violence that they feel like is inevitable for my jokes,” he continued. “But I gotta tell you, as abrasive as they were, the way they were protesting, throwing eggs at people, throwing barricades, cussing and screaming, [none of my fans] beat ‘em up. In fact, the people in the crowd would just say, ‘We love you. Like what are you talking about?’”

Chappelle said that when he did talk to some of the transgender protesters, he felt like the majority were “just sticking to the playbook: we’re here to stir s*** up.”

“I feel like they wanted me to say something inflammatory … in a weird way, I think some of them had the intention of inciting violence against themselves for publicity,” Chappelle said. “Like they were doing things that a regular n*****, I’m telling you, would knock one of these people out.”

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