Dave Chappelle continues to face backlash for transphobic comments made during his ‘The Closer’ Netflix special. Now, it’s hurting his bottom line. This controversy is apparently costing the famous comedian work already.

According to The Virginian Pilot, famed music producer Pharrell Williams attempted to book a show at the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia that was scheduled to feature Chappelle, but that plan was blocked by the venue. Virginia Beach businessman Bruce Thompson turned the plan down after Pharrell pulled his Something in the Water music festival from the city. Williams was not satisfied with the way the city handled the fatal police shooting of his 25-year-old cousin Donovan Lynch in March.

Thompson said that there were various reasons to turn down Williams’ plan. According to reports, the content of the Chappelle special was among them.

In early October, Pharrell wrote an open letter to Virginia Beach city leadership expressing frustration with the way the city handles racial issues. Williams said he won’t bring the popular festival back until the issues are resolved. The city reported a revenue of $24.11 million from the first festival in 2019.


The event at the Cavalier Hotel was not related to the cancelled music festival. Thompson did specifically say that Chappelle’s content was at least part of the motivation for rejecting the event, although there were other considerations as well.

Thompson also said he believed that the expected crowd size would be too large for the venue. There would not be adequate parking for the expected crowd of 800. The event also didn’t have any plan in the event of rain, according to the Pilot. Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer expressed a desire to see the parties work things out.

“We’re hoping we can have a face-to-face meeting with Pharrell and go over his concerns and see what we can do to get things back on track. By meeting in person and communicating, I am confident we can move in a better direction. That would be best to build those positive bridges.”

The heat continues to turn up on Chappelle. This could be the first of many venues refusing to host the controversial comic. Dave Chappelle’s transphobic routine has caused outrage and plenty of headaches for Netflix. Workers there are planning a walkout to show their dissatisfaction. The co-CEO of the company continues his defense of ‘The Closer.’

Will Dave Chappelle be able to recover after the backlash over his Netflix special? Tell us what you think in the comments!

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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