Jerry Sadowitz show canceled due to ‘extreme racism, homophobia and misogyny’

<span>Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian</span>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/ -~B/aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/″ data-src=”–m2MDjt3pPTUwQlna3MDjtpPTUwQlna3mdk3PTUWQ –/–~B/aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/″/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

Jerry Sadowitz had his show canceled at the Edinburgh Fringe because the content was “extreme in its racism, sexism, homophobia and misogyny,” promoters have said.

The comedian, whose material has for decades been provocative and unabashedly offensive, had what was intended to be the second of two shows pulled due to an unprecedented number of complaints, the Pleasance theater in Edinburgh said.

Related: Jerry Sadowitz’s Edinburgh fringe stand-up show was scrapped due to complaints

The cancellation led to concerns expressed by other fringe comedians, including Richard Herring who called it “a very worrying development“. Many wanted more details about the reasons for canceling a show titled Jerry Sadowitz: Not for Anyone.

On Sunday, Pleasance said: “Due to a number of complaints, we immediately became aware of content that was considered, among other things, to be extreme in its racism, sexism, homophobia and misogyny. We do not want to associate with content that attacks people’s dignity, and the language used on stage was, in our view, completely unacceptable.

“A large number of people walked out of Jerry Sadowitz’s show when they felt uncomfortable and unsafe to remain in the venue. We have received an unprecedented number of complaints that could not be ignored and we had a duty to respond. The subsequent abuse directed at the teams ours is also just as unacceptable.”

The Pleasance said racism, homophobia, sexism and misogynistic language had no place in its arenas.

In a changing world, stories and language once accepted on stage, whether performed in character or not, must be challenged. There is a line that we will not cross at Pleasance, and it was our view that this line was crossed on this occasion, it says.

“We do not vet the full content of acts in advance, and although Jerry Sadowitz is a controversial comedian, we could not have known the details of his performance. The Pleasance has staged his work several times over the years, but as soon as we received complaints from those in the building that caused us great concern, we knew we could not allow the final performance to go ahead.

“Art and comedies in particular have always pushed the boundaries of social norms, but this boundary is always moving. Our industry must follow suit. However, this does not mean we can allow such content to be on our stages.”

Sadowitz announced the cancellation on Twitter. “Did a show last night, 75 minutes, thought it went well. So no walkouts. Today I was told my show is cancelled. Great stuff. I’m really sorry for anyone who traveled to see the show tonight.”

The Guardian has been told that around 30-40 people walked out of the show on Friday night.

Sadowitz was supported by other comedians including Simon EvansWHO black to him: “If you can identify the line that got you canceled, I’m willing to call it. And I think every other comic should, too. This is our Spartacus moment.”

Fred MacAulay called it “an absolutely terrible development”. Al Murray wrote: “Damn it Jerry, I’m sorry.”

Herring said Sadowitz was “a challenging comedian, but that’s the whole point of his act.” He added: “Fringe shouldn’t be canceling shows in any case. Very worrying development. Would love to hear the reasoning behind this decision. Or why apparently nobody has explained it to Jerry.”

Sadowitz has long been known for routines that most people would find grossly offensive. He has called himself a “wizard, comedian, psychopath”. The Guardian’s Brian Logan has described him as “the great, twisted grandfather of violent comedy.”

In Canada, after he opened his show with the greeting “Hello moose-fuckers”, someone came on stage and knocked him unconscious. Before the battle, he told the crowd: “I’ll tell you why I hate Canada – half of you speak French and the other half let them!”

In a 2011 interview with The Guardian, Sadowitz, who was born in the US and raised in Glasgow, gave an insight into his misanthropy.

He said: “My stuff comes from the fact that my life has been miserable. Now I don’t think I have the capacity to be happy. I would settle for peace of mind. I would give anything for that. But it has been a complete waste of life. Completely and utterly wasted.”

Sadowitz has been contacted for further comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *