Pride Toronto Condemns Scotiabank Arena for Hosting Dave Chappelle Screening
The LGBTQ+ organization is "deeply disappointed" in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment
The LGBTQ+ non-profit expressed disappointment with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) for providing the 19,800-capacity venue to Chappelle, in light of the comedian having recently come under fire for making transphobic remarks in his highly controversial Netflix special The Closer.
"We call on MLSE to commit to meaningful action to combat transphobia, in their spaces and in sports," reads the statement from Pride.
The event, which sold out almost immediately, was announced by Scotiabank via a comments-closed tweet back in October — a decision that has drawn plenty of criticism online.
"Please never ever talk to me about how polite Canadians are ever again, when 'diverse' and 'tolerant' Toronto is hosting a Dave Chapelle event like a week after he used his platform to attack trans people," wrote one user.
A listing on the venue's website also notes that cellphones will be strictly prohibited during the screening, and those using their phones will be subject to removal from the event.
Chappelle stands accused of transphobia after proudly calling himself a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) and defending known transphobe/Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for a bit in The Closer.
Following its release, Netflix employees staged a walkout protesting the company's lack of transgender/BIPOC representation in leadership roles.
Notably, Caitlyn Jenner, JAY-Z and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos have defended the comedian — though the latter recently walked back his support of Chappelle, admitting that he "screwed up" in handling employee concerns regarding hate speech.
See Pride Toronto's statement below.
Pride Toronto is deeply disappointed in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment's decision to provide the Scotiabank Arena platform to Dave Chappelle today following his transphobic tirade during his recently released Netflix special. pic.twitter.com/1W0LvywsK5— Pride Toronto (@PrideToronto) November 15, 2021