Comedian Dave Chappelle Plans Cincinnati 'Untitled' Screening and Performance as Anti-Trans Accusations Continue

The documentary revolves around Chappelle's outdoor performances in Yellow Springs during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

click to enlarge Dave Chappelle will bring his "Untitled" documentary to Cincinnati. - PHOTO: MATHIEU BITTON, PILOT BOY PRODUCTIONS
Photo: Mathieu Bitton, Pilot Boy Productions
Dave Chappelle will bring his "Untitled" documentary to Cincinnati.

Comedian and Ohio resident Dave Chappelle is bringing his Untitled documentary to Cincinnati next month.

Chappelle's documentary revolves around performing outdoors in Yellow Springs during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It also addresses the local activism that occurred in the rural town after white former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a Black man, last summer (Chauvin later was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter).

A press release describes the film:

Fueled by the murder of George Floyd, shut-in by the closures of business due to the pandemic, and unable to perform around the country, the movie follows Chappelle as he provides the community he calls home with two things desperately needed in difficult times – economic and comic relief. What began as an experimental socially-distanced live comedy show in a neighbor's cornfield, grew into an unforgettable summer with his neighbors, friends and fellow comedians. Ultimately, Chappelle’s cornfield concerts would serve as a model of courage not just for his community, but for the entire live entertainment industry.

Chappelle produced the independent film with Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.

The entertainer will screen the Untitled and perform for audiences during a 10-city limited tour, including at Heritage Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, on Ticketmaster.

Fall is shaping up to be an interesting season for Chappelle. The storytelling comedian currently is under fire for his Oct. 5 Netflix special The Closer, in which he intentionally misgenders a transgender friend who had died. Netflix employees recently staged a walk-out to protest Chappelle's anti-trans jokes as well as his ongoing anti-cancel-culture comedy sets, Vox reports.

Chappelle's representatives said that the comedian is open to a conversation with Netflix employees, according to Oct. 21 reports from Deadline and TMZ.

"Dave stands by his art: No more jokes about transgenders until we can all laugh together," a representative reportedly told TMZ (according to many people within the trans community, "transgender" should be used as an adjective and not as a noun as Chappelle's rep reportedly did). "The streets are talking and Dave is listening. At some point, when everyone is open, I'm sure the communities will come together."

In September, the Miami Township Board of Zoning Appeals agreed to Chappelle's request for zoning approval to host shows at Wirrig Pavilion just outside of Yellow Springs Sept. 30-Oct. 31. Wirrig Pavilion is zoned for agricultural use, not for commercial use, so special approval was needed.

In a 2020 appearance on Saturday Night Live, Chappelle lamented navigating complaints from his neighbors during his shows at the Wirrig. Zopf says some residents in the area feel they were negatively affected by the shows.

This isn't the first time the comedian has made noise in the small, idyllic town. According to a Facebook post from the Village of Yellow Springs, the future Chappelle restaurant Firehouse Eatery and attached comedy club, Live from YS were recently approved by the village's planning commission. Yellow Springs Development Corporation agreed to sell the building to Chapelle's Iron Table Holdings LLC last December.


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