A woman has gone to the press after Ross Noble joked about her disabled son’s loud laughs.
Leslie Roberts, complained her 19-year-old son Luke, who has cerebral palsy, was upset by Noble’s comments during his show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
She told the city’s Herald Sun newspaper: ‘When Luke laughs he does a gorgeous growl at the end and Ross said, “What the fuck was that?”, and went on to make extensive jokes about it.
‘I just want to communicate that there's a point where you can go too far, and Ross really hurt a fan of his.’
Noble – who frequently weaves entire shows around his interactions with the audience – heard the distinctive laugh and had imagined there was a bear in the room.
He said he was saddened if any offence was caused, but added that he was not being malicious, nor highlighting his disability. ‘He has obviously misunderstood the spirit in which it was intended,’ Noble said.
And on his Twitter feed, the comic added: ‘If you have cerebral palsy please come to my show sit in the front row you will be included in the show like everybody else.
‘If you find anything I say offensive prob. best to contact me about it rather than going to the press and getting them to pass on the message.’
Others defended Noble, including disability campaigner Stella Young, who said comics should treat disabled audience members like anyone else. ‘He wasn't singled out because of his disability and he wasn't excluded because of his disability,’ she said.