Three Ralphie May Shows Postponed After Death Threats Surface

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Three more dates on ’s current tour have been cancelled, this time by the artist himself.

Ralphie May’s “Fuck a bunch of Indians” bit is still upsetting people, especially in Sioux Falls, a town named after a Native American tribe. May postponed tonight’s Sioux Falls Show after receiving death threats.

The threats stem from a controversy that erupted over the last two weeks over an 11 year old bit that was brought to the attention of tribes, theaters, and media by Native American comedian Adrianne Chalepah. Chalepah posted a 44 second clip to YouTube last Tuesday that was clipped from a longer routine, joking about Native American stereotypes and using the line “Fuck a bunch of Indians.”  (read more on that here). As a result, May’s gig at a Bemidji, Minnesota Casino was cancelled, the contract broken, and May lost out on $11,000. Now, a week later, his Sioux Falls gig has been postponed, although promoters say they plan to reschedule.

Shows were also cancelled in Fargo, and Burnsville, and May has been apologetic.  “I am postponing my shows in Fargo, Sioux Falls and Burnsville out of respect for the Native American community and safety for all parties,” May said in a statement released by promoters. “A video that surfaced on YouTube hurt and offended many people and I am truly sorry. I thought I was a well-read, educated man. I know nothing. I’m a product of mass media and the U.S. public school system. I have learned so much this week and I want to learn more. My eyes are open and I hope to be a conduit for things that we are not taught.”

According to the Star Tribune, Indian Leaders had called for protests and boycotts in Fargo, Sioux City and Burnsville prior to the cancellation of this weeks shows.

Over the weekend, (and prior to the decision to cancel the shows), Ralphie tweeted that he had learned there was a $25,000 bounty on his head. He had been to meet with Sioux City elders today, and said he was looking forward to listening and learned. I believe this is a gift, he tweeted and was planning to join protesters outside of his shows. “I will come outside, put down a stool & listen to you with respect,” an April 9 tweet read.  He also wrote “I am serious about learning. I really am ignorant. I’m a product of mass media and US public school system. My eyes are open,” and promised that what he learned from these experiences will appear in his next special.  “I hope to be a conduit for things that we are not taught,” he added, and promised to set up a mentorship program for Native American kids who wanted to get into comedy.

May’s tour continues with shows later this week in Dekalb, Illinois, Des Moines, Iowa, and Bloomington Illinois, with a run of dates in St. Louis next week.

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