‘Nobody Should Be Censored’: Comedians Defend Chappelle After Theater Caves, Cancels His Show

Dave Chappelle performs at The Imagine Ball Honoring Serena Williams Benefitting Imagine LA Presented By John Terzian & Val Vogt on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Imagine LA

Fellow comedians have come to Dave Chappelle’s defense after a Minneapolis theater caved to pressure and canceled his show right before he was to take the stage.

From the people who run the comedy clubs to the ones who entertain, the people Fox News spoke to were all in agreement that what happened to the “Chappelle’s Show” star was wrong, the outlet reported in a piece published Friday.

The 48-year-old comedian was about to do a show at the iconic First Avenue concert venue on Wednesday night in Minnesota, but the venue canceled it at the last minute, causing the show to move to another location, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

At the time, the concert venue released a statement regarding the backlash about the comedian performing there and said it “worked hard to make our venues the safest spaces in the country, and we will continue with that mission.” The statement also said “we believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression” but “lost sight of the impact this would have.”

After the show moved, the legendary comedian called the venue’s actions  “devastating” and encouraged his fans to continue supporting the nightclub Prince put on the map, the Star Tribune reported.

“It’s an important place for our culture,” Chappelle shared.

Comedian Natalie Cuomo told Fox News, “nobody should be censored” and people should be able to speak freely, especially once they have already been booked to perform.

“The venue already knew,” she added. “It’s not like he released something new after they booked them. This was already on Netflix. This was already accessible to the public. And canceling a show last minute like that is pretty unacceptable to me.”

“I don’t think it’s okay to limit what people say. I think there needs to always be a space for whatever your beliefs are,” Cuomo continued. “Nobody should be censored. I don’t think Dave Chappelle was ever encouraging violence in any capacity, and for anyone to say that is a gross exaggeration.”

Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada told the outlet that the “comic stage is their sanctuary. We have to protect the First Amendment. We can’t dilute it. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves.”

The owner of Stand Up New York, Dani Zoldan, called the canceling of Dave’s show a “dangerous precedent.”

“I don’t feel like it’s right that people can tell other people what they can and cannot say,” the owner shared. “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 buy tickets to their show.”

“I don’t want to be censored as a comedian. I say some ridiculous things on stage, that’s hilarious, that may make you think, but what it also does is teaches you that I’m a human being,” transgender comedian Flame Monroe told the outlet.

“It’s not about race, or color or size or gender, it’s about money. You don’t want to make money,” Monroe shared, adding that comedians “don’t want to spew anger and hate and bitterness. You want people to laugh.”

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