First Avenue in Minneapolis canceled a Dave Chappelle show at the last minute on Wednesday after receiving public criticism for booking the comedian.
“To the staff, the artists and our community, we hear you and we’re sorry,” the crowd said in a pronunciationannouncing that the evening’s show had been cancelled.
The decision came after an online petition on Change.org. “Dave Chappelle is known for being dangerous to transgender people, and First Avenue has a duty to protect the community,” said the petition, which had just over 120 signatures early Thursday morning.
“Chappelle’s actions perpetuate a violent heteronormative culture and directly violate First Avenue’s code of conduct,” the statement said. “If staff and guests are held to this standard, then artists should be too.”
Chappelle has been criticized in the past year for comments he made about transgender people in his Netflix special ‘The Closer’.
The comedian’s Wednesday act on First Avenue was moved to Varsity Theater, which said it would honor all First Avenue tickets originally purchased for the show. Separate shows were already planned for Thursday and Friday in the Varsity Theater.
In its statement, First Avenue said its team and clients have “worked hard to make our sites the safest spaces in the country, and we will continue with that mission.”
“We believe in different voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that we have 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”, saying that those with complaints are “welcome to send feedback”.
Representatives for Chappelle did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.