Fringe venue cancels Jerry Sadowitz gig | 'This type of material has no place on the festival '

Fringe venue cancels Jerry Sadowitz gig

'This type of material has no place on the festival '

Edinburgh’s Pleasance venue has insisted it champions freedom of speech after pulling a Jerry Sadowitz gig.

The Fringe venue said the comic  – who has built his entire career on making offensive jokes –  expressed opinions on stage that were ‘not acceptable’ and did not want to be associated with it. So it pulled tonight’s performance of his show,  Not For Anyone, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

One audience member told the Scottish Sun: ‘He called Rishi Sunak a 'p***'; said the economy was awful because it is run by "blacks and women".

‘He got his penis out to a woman in the front row. The problem was not the audience - I knew he was an acquired taste. It was his indefensible content.’

Anthony Alderson, director of the Pleasance said: ‘The Pleasance is a venue that champions freedom of speech and we do not censor comedians’ material.

‘While we acknowledge that Jerry Sadowitz has often been controversial, the material presented at his first show is not acceptable and does not align with our values. This type of material has no place on the festival and the Pleasance will not be presenting his second and final show.’

Writing on Twitter, the controversial comic said:  ‘Did a show last night, 75 mins, thought it went well. Didn't see any walkouts. Today I’m told my show's been cancelled. Great stuff.

‘I'm truly sorry for everyone who travelled to see the show tonight.’

Comics were quick to support Sadowitz, with Al Murray posting: ‘Godammit Jerry I'm sorry’

Simon Evans said: ‘If you can identify the Iine that got you cancelled then I for one am willing to nick it. And I think every other comic should too. This is our Spartacus moment.’

Michael Redmond said: ‘That’s a bloody shame and disgrace, Jerry. Hope you're well, apart from this crap.’

And comedy writer Emma Kennedy said: 'Going to a Sadowitz show and thinking you’re not going to be offended is like jumping into a tank of sharks with a bloody leg thinking you’re not going to be bitten. You get what you pay for. Cancelling him is ridiculous.'

Stand Up and GB News regular Leo Kearse appeared to liken the ban to the stabbing of Salman Rushdie, posting: 'If the Islamic fundamentalists don't get you, the wokeists will.'

Other supporters included Radio 2's Jeremy Vine who said: 'I've seen Jerry Sadowitz perform four times. Each gig was more offensive than the last. No one complained because that's what Jerry does.'

In an official statement, the venue said: ‘The Pleasance Theatre Trust have cancelled Jerry Sadowitz’s second and final show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with immediate effect. In today’s society, opinions such as those displayed on stage by Sadowitz are not acceptable and The Pleasance are not prepared to be associated with such material. ‘

Promotion for the shows published on the Pleasance website quoted Sadowitz saying: ‘Please note that I might just do card tricks and say nothing for a whole hour or I might just do the usual 'screaming fascist' schtick. Or both. Patrons may wish to drink alcohol pre-show to avoid boredom, embarrassment and guilt.’

Published: 13 Aug 2022

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