Controversial Comedian Coming to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It was about nine months ago, on a St. Louis radio show, when comedian Lil Duval said this about what he’d do if he found out he’d slept with a transgender woman: “This might sound messed up and I don’t care: she dying. I can’t deal with that. I can’t do that. Nah, you manipulated me to believe in this thing, I can’t.”

The backlash then was immediate, sparking responses from author and transgender activist Janet Mock and actress and LGBT advocate Laverne Cox, who tweeted, in part, “Our lives matter. Trans murder isn’t a joke.”

Duval, who’s real name is Roland Powell, didn’t back down, in fact, he doubled down, tweeting, “I heard the transgender (racial slur) mad at me.” And then, “I wish I had something to sell right now.”

In Charlotte, he could start with tickets. His show at The Comedy Zone this weekend is not sold out, club owner Brian Heffron tells WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty. Heffron says he won’t cancel Powell’s show because of his controversial comments but does tell Fogarty, “I certainly don’t condone any of that type of behavior in any way, shape, or form.” And, “It’s a slippery slope when we start saying (who) is allowed to perform here, and (who’s) not allowed to perform here.”

“To say that it’s OK to murder someone or even put the idea of injuring someone because they don’t disclose their status as being trans, that’s just simply not acceptable,” says Charlotte transgender activist and Genderlines founder Paige Dula. She says if Heffron won’t cancel Duval’s show, The Comedy Zone should donate the proceeds to a local LGBT organization. “To show in good faith that you respect the LGBT community, especially the transgender community,” she says.

WCCB asked Heffron if he’d be willing to donate proceeds; he hasn’t replied to us yet. Duval is scheduled to perform in Charlotte this Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. His November show in St. Louis was cancelled after his controversial comments.

Update 3/27/18: Brian Heffron, the owner of The Comedy Zone, confirms he will donate a to-be-determined portion of the proceeds from Lil Duval’s Charlotte shows to Time Out Youth, a Charlotte-based organization for LGBT youth ages 11 – 20.