Fat Joe defended his friend and comedian Dave Chappelle, who continues to face backlash from the LGBTQ+ community. The Bronx rapper told TMZ that people need to “take the time out and laugh.” He told the outlet, “They love him. Everybody gotta take the time out and laugh. When it’s a comedian we look at it as fun humor laughter. Of course there’s some sensitive issues that our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ+ community are facing which is fear, people beating ’em up for no reason. All types of things that are happening to ’em unfairly, but I don’t think Dave Chappelle making fun of them or me, I just laugh, you know? And I take it for what it is.”
The Terror Squad head honcho continued saying comedians poke fun at everyone. He said, “You mess around and walk into the comedy club after they already started and you try to get to your seat, they gonna tear you up for about a half hour…I think comedy has always been a relief. It’s always made fun of everything. Sometimes it’s too soon…but other than that, I love comedy. I love to laugh and that’s the beauty of comedy…he’s just being a comedian.”
Chappelle was scheduled to perform at the iconic First Avenue last week in Minneapolis. But the venue was changed to the Varsity Theater due to complaints about protests from the city’s LGTBQ+ community. The First Avenue released an official statement on their Twitter. The company wrote, “We are not just a black box with people in it, and we understand that First Ave is not just a room, but meaningful beyond our walls. The First Avenue team and you have worked hard to make our venues the safest spaces in the country, and we will continue with that mission. We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have. We know there are some who will not agree with this decision, you are welcome to send feedback.”
Chappelle faced ongoing criticism from the LGTBQ community after the Netflix special, The Closer, was released. He joked about a transgender person and the backlash against DaBaby for the homophobic remarks he made at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami last year.