Dave Chappelle is said to have branded protestors “transgender lunatics” after they forced a venue to cancel his gig on Wednesday night. (20.07.22)
The comic, 48, reportedly dismissed them as a “small group”, and slammed the Minneapolis’ First Avenue bar for not having enough “courage” to go ahead with his sold out show.
Hours before it had brought in almost $200,000 (£167,000) in sales by selling 1,500 tickets with a starting price of $129.50 (£108), organisers said they were no longer willing to host the gig.
The U-turn came after a Change.org petition signed by 125 people branded Chappelle transphobic, with staff members refusing to turn up to the work the event.
But when it was quickly moved to the nearby Varsity Theater and went ahead uninterrupted, the stand-up lashed back.
According to a review of the show by local paper The Star Tribune, he told fans: “I can see a transgender hit squad from a mile off.”
He was also said to have laughed off transgender activists who protested outside as “lunatics”.
The publication’s TV critic Neal Justin quoted Chappelle as saying the small group of protesters who turned up at the show were probably “hired by his wife, determined to suck the joy out of his life”.
Neil added: “Early in the set, Chappelle seemed sympathetic, sharing that he had heard children of some First Avenue staffers had been threatened.
“But after a few glasses of booze (and a Foggy Geezer beer) he admitted that the cancellation had been devastating and hoped the club would be more courageous in the future.”
Phones were barred from the gig.
Members of activism group MnUprising launched the Change.org campaign for Chappelle’s pre-booked show to be cancelled.
It complained the comedian had “harmed” them with his “transphobic” views.
Chappelle has faced down calls to be cancelled since last year over jokes he made during a Netflix stand-up show in October 2021.
He said he stood with ‘Harry Potter’ writer J K Rowling and her opinion gender is a “fact”.
Chappelle also joked he was “team TERF” – a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.
Lady Gaga’s choreographer Richard ‘Richy’ Jackson is being accused of toxic behaviour by 10 dancers.
The 43-year-old is said to have been abusive and used his power to demean staff “just because he could”.
Dancer Caroline Diamond said in a video: “He abused me, he embarrassed me, he made me feel terrible in the workplace, just because he could.
“Gaga was my dream... I chased it and I got it, and she is the dream, and then you get there, and this man makes your dream a nightmare.”
Rolling Stone said in a story published on Thursday 10 dancers had spoken out against Jackson.
It spoke with five dancers who all echoed claims Jackson created a toxic working environment and what they labelled an “unsafe” and “unhealthy” workplace.
Two of the dancers said it led to them voluntarily quitting what was otherwise a dream job.
All the dancers who made allegations against the choreographer spoke highly of Gaga, 36, and stressed she “had nothing to do with the situation, as she wasn’t present for much of the dancers’ rehearsals with Jackson”.
Gaga’s team is now understood to be taking the dancers’ concerns seriously and looking into their allegations, according to Rolling Stone.
The claims come days before the start of Gaga’s twice-delayed ‘The Chromatica Ball’ tour – the singer’s first since 2017’s ‘Joanne’.
Former Gaga dancer Knicole Haggins told Rolling Stone hitting out at Jackson was an “opportunity for things to change for the better and for people to feel that they don’t have to be quiet in order to keep their job”.
Ex-dancer Sloan-Taylor Rabinor added: “My point in coming forward about this is seeking change. If I can positively impact or save a dancer from having an experience like this, so when these red flags come up, whether it’s with (Jackson) or it’s somebody else, that they can step outside and be like, ‘Oh, I know what this looks like, I know how to remove myself from that situation’.”
Jackson – nicknamed ‘Richy Squirrel’ by Gaga – has held the position of Gaga’s head choreographer since 2011.
He took over from his former boss Laurieann Gibson, 53, who created routines for Gaga’s music videos ‘Poker Face’, ‘Born This Way’ and ‘Telephone’.