Comedian Dave Chappelle took LGBT activists to task this week for their apparent hypocrisy and intolerance. On the second episode of his “The Midnight Miracle” podcast, Chappelle discussed violent activists’ savage attacks on his fans and their success in getting one of his shows cancelled.
What’s the background?
In conversation with co-hosts Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey, Chappelle noted that transsexual activists “want to be feared. ‘If you say this, then we will punish you. We’ll come to First Avenue and f*** your show and we’ll come to the Varsity Theater and f**** your show up.’ And they just don’t get to do that.”
Chappelle was scheduled to put on a comedy show in July at an iconic concert venue in Minneapolis, First Avenue. However, the event was cancelled just hours before it was set to begin.
TheBlaze previously reported that First Avenue officials canceled it and that it was subsequently moved to the Varsity Theater, a venue roughly 2.5 miles away.
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway suggested at the time that this move amounted to “totalitarian censorship,” exemplifying “hatred of free expression.”
First Avenue had evidently caved to activist pressure, saying in a statement, “We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have.”
Rolling Stone reported that staffers had complained about Chappelle and threatened to bail out of work.
The staffers and other activists antipathetic to free speech were enraged in part by Chappelle’s 2021 stand-up special “The Closer,” which had sparked walkouts at Netflix.
Former actress Elliot Page, Jameela Jamil, and one of the former Wachowski brothers behind “The Matrix” were among the so-called celebrities who supported the Netflix employees’ efforts to silence the black comedian, reported the BBC.
Transsexual activist Ashlee Marie Preston said, “We are here today not because we don’t know how to take a joke. We’re here because we’re concerned that the jokes are taking lives.”
One of the allegedly homicidal quips Chappelle made in the special was: “They canceled J.K. Rowling. My God. … Effectually she said gender was a fact, and then the trans community got mad as s***, they started calling her a TERF.”
The comedian then noted he was on “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist — a group that believes only biological females are women.
NBC News indicated the show’s cancellation in Minneapolis was also prompted by a Change.org online petition, which claimed, “Dave Chappelle has a record of being dangerous to trans people, and First Avenue has a duty to protect the community.”
Activists were apparently not satisfied that Chappelle’s show had been relocated. They wanted him silenced outright.
Violent activists flocked to the second theater in hopes of a repeat success.
Rainbow coalition’s intolerance
On his podcast this week, Chappelle recalled how transsexual activists mobbed his fans lined up outside the Varsity Theater, waiting to get in after the cancellation of the original show.
Chappelle said that these transsexual activists “and their surrogates always say that my jokes are somehow gonna be the root cause of some impending violence.”
Before a joke was uttered on stage that day, “people of various genders and gender identities … threw eggs. They threw eggs at the people who were lined up to see the show,” said Chappelle.
“One lady was so mad with the protesters, she picked up a police barricade. … You ever seen one? They look like a bike rack. This b**** picked that barricade up by herself and threw it at the crowd,” recalled the comedian. “I gotta tell you, it’s an amazing feat of strength for a woman.”
Chappelle recalled that the violent activists’ rallying cry was “‘Go home, transphobe.’ They kept saying that: ‘Go home, transphobe,’ and ‘f*** you, transphobe.’ It was really confusing, but if you replace the word ‘transphobe’ for ‘n*****,’ it makes perfect sense.”
Despite the activists’ venom and violence, Chappelle underscored how none of his fans “beat ’em up. In fact, the people in the crowd would just say, ‘We love you. Like what are you talking about?'”
Chappelle has endeavored to take a nuanced approach to LGBT matters in his comedy. Nonetheless, on account of his refusal to subordinate his sense of humor to activists’ precepts, he has been physically attacked along with his fans.
Chappelle was attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in May by a man reportedly armed with a knife, who claimed to have been “triggered” by the comedian’s jokes about the LGBT “community.”
“Art is a nuanced endeavor,” Chappelle said this week. “I have a belief that they are trying to take the nuance out of speech in American culture, that they’re making people speak as if they’re either on the right or the left. Everything seems absolute, and any opinion I respect is way more nuanced than these binary choices they keep putting in front of us. I don’t see the world in red or blue.”
The comedian intimated that activists are going out of their way to find and take offense: “There’s a thing they do where they deliberately obscure what I think they believe is the intent of my work to make a moment of it that I don’t know that the work necessarily merits. You know what I mean?”
“I’m not even mad that they take issue with my work, he added. “Good, fine. Who cares? What I take issue with is the idea that because they don’t like it, I’m not allowed to say it.”
Jeremy Clarkson of “Grand Tour” fame, now facing further cancellation, recently expressed a similar sentiment in an op-ed, claiming that leftist malcontents are always “inventing new rules to ensnare anyone and everyone they deem to be unworthy” and that there “really is an army with the ability to remove from public life anyone who disagrees with its increasingly militant viewpoint.”
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