Campus Free Speech

University of London Makes Comedians Sign a 'Safe Space' Agreement

"This comedy night...aims to provide a safe space for everyone to share and listen."

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London
Philafrenzy / Wikimedia Commons

Comedians invited to perform for charity at the University of London were required to sign a behavioral agreement that stipulated "love, joy, and acceptance" would be themes of the performance.

"This comedy night…aims to provide a safe space for everyone to share and listen," read the form, as reported by PJ Media's Toni Airaksinen. One of the invited comedians, Konstantin Kisin, also posted the full document on Twitter.

"By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-theism," the form continued.

The event in question was organized by the University of London's UNICEF on campus chapter. Kisin told the group that he supported their cause, but could not perform under such conditions, according to Airaksinen.

I understand that gratuitous cruelty may not be funny, and that student audiences are increasingly unwilling to hear anything that might offend them (see: Nimesh Patel). Even so, it seems odd to prohibit comedians from making fun of various religions. Is the questioning of religious dogma no longer a fundamental purpose of the university?

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171 responses to “University of London Makes Comedians Sign a 'Safe Space' Agreement

  1. Of course they have……

    1. These agreements should be standard in the United States as well, and they should always contain an undertaking on the part of the “comedians” not to engage in any form of “parody” that can damage anyone’s reputation. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

      https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  2. Is the questioning of religious dogma no longer a fundamental purpose of the university?

    On of the tenets of the new religion at university is safe spaces for believers.

    1. Only certain religions may be questioned and in fact, questioning them and their believers is mandatory.

      Certain other religions may never be questioned.

      1. Same as it ever was.

  3. Why are we enabling this madness?

    I feel like David Byrne in Once in a Lifetime.

    How did we get here?

    1. This is not my beautiful freedom of speech.

      1. It’s the UK…they don’t have a first amendment.

        1. this is not my beautiful routine.

        2. I openly encourage the British people to violently overthrow their government, using violence.

          Since it’s a foreign country I can say that and not get in trouble from Voldemort or whomever.

      2. It’s paid-for speech. It was never going to be “free”.

        1. It is an unpaid charity gig for UNICEF.

  4. “By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-theism,” the form continued.”

    There goes my act. Good night! I won’t be here all week!

    1. I’m thinking an hour and a half comedy routine on the ridiculousness of “safe spaces”, and the coddling of university students.

        1. Maybe screaming the word ‘nigger ‘ at the students for an hour straight might be a good act.

  5. Jokes are no longer allowed to be funny.

  6. A half-black, female, working class, elderly, handicapped, gay–but still open to threesomes–ladyboy from Thailand who is a lapsed Muslim walked into a bar.

    The bartender said, “For your sake, I hope this isn’t a joke.”

    1. TRIIIIIIIIIIII———————-GERRRRRRRED!

    2. Wait a minute…Xe WALKED into a bar? That is so ableist!

    3. WHEELED into a bar… FTFY

  7. The repressions of freedom of speech in government controlled education has convinced me to oppose public education, which I had never thought to do. It is deeply disturbing, this wave of repression that is sweeping the world.

    1. Homeschooled and parochial kids are undoubtedly more constrained in what they’re allowed to think. Just saying.

      1. I bet you it’s the opposite.

        Public school kids are coming out pure NPC.

        The source of this craziness isn’t from those homeschooled.

        It’s straight from the public school system.

        It’s all progressive. All of it.

        1. Maybe you think that because you’re simply accustomed to kids coming out of religious schooling believing Jesus had a pet dinosaur. And stop saying NPC. It doesn’t help your argument to out yourself as a 4chan ogre.

          1. OK, your turn — zing us with a joke safe enough for University of London.

            1. The co-parent of two ungendered children walks into a talent agency to describe his family’s act. It goes like this: First, they all fuck a goat with the goat’s explicit handwritten consent, yadda yadda yadda, the differently wealthied!

                1. I guess they won’t be seeing Frankie Boyle, Jim Jeffries, or Lisa Lampanelli (her early days) perform that evening.

              1. goat fucking is a jab at Islam.

                You get booted off stage.

                1. Not even considering goats or other hooved herbivores when seeking potential sex partners is totally speciesist!

              2. All PETA supporters triggered; you’re fired.

          2. It doesn’t help your argument to out yourself as a 4chan ogre.

            You realize that CNN was covering the 4chan meme thing right? That you don’t have to have been to 4chan or even seen the term 4chan to know what it is and what it means?

            1. True. But it’s still pretty dumb.

              When you start thinking of actual people in the world as video game characters, it’s really time to spend less time in your mom’s basement.

              1. “But it’s still pretty dumb.”

                People who say this know it is about them and hate it.

                “it’s really time to spend less time in your mom’s basement.”

                That is a straight up NPC response. Way to prove my point.

                1. Way to prove my point.

              2. It’s not about video game characters, it’s about the predictability of responses and the narrow corridors of permissible thought that lead to those responses.

                1. Then use a different term that isn’t about video game characters.

                  1. Uh, do you also have problems with metaphors Zeb? Linguistic shorthand is nothing new, and if you knew anything about NPC’s you might get the reference and why it’s apt. Not to be rude, but it seems the NPC’s get angry when you call them cocksuckers.

              3. My mom lives in everyone’s basement, because she collects retirement Social Security. Let’s balance the budget through immigration by shipping that grandma to Mexico.

      2. it’s the thinking process that’s taught, not the end product of approved thought. You douche.

      3. I take it you haven’t met any homeschooled or parochial kids.

        1. It’s so boring to hear so much politically motivated claptrap. My daughter has been homeschooled all along. Loves science, doesn’t get taught a lick of creationism, but is being raised as a Christian. How is that possible?

          Certainly there are people who homeschool in part to avoid having their kids taught evolutionary theory, but even most of those people seem to drop it when other sciences are involved, even things like geology, cosmology, and so on that require a universe at least 13.7 billion years or older. And of the kids who have reached college age, not a small number enter STEM fields.

          My wife and I are highly educated?public school for K-12?but opted (her idea, by the way) to homeschool. We could have made much more money, etc., but raising our child the way we think she should be raised is worth it all. I think it’s pathetic that some people let their politics cloud their judgment so much.

          1. As long as you’re meeting high government-mandated standards, that’s cool. We wouldn’t want a world in which parents could simply refuse to educate their children if they wanted, would we?

            1. Part of our issue is how screwed up public education has gotten. We have three older kids (all adults), who are all products of public school education. Considering that I went to public school in the same county, the contrast between my education and theirs (at an “A” school) is distressing.

              This isn’t really about politics, though some of it is. I think more diversity in thought is more important now than ever. We’re not raising factory workers much any more.

            2. Nothing says “libertarian” like “government-mandated”.

              1. Yup. Tony is government-owned livestock.

                1. Tony has openly admitted many times that he is not a libertarian.

            3. The question could also be phrased as ‘we wouldn’t want a world in which students could simply refuse to learn, would we?’

              LOL.

          2. I know one family who homeschooled their kids specifically to avoid evolution. They’re nuts. But they’re also the rare exception. Libruhls imagine all homeschoolers come from Jesusland, that mythical place between Kansas and Florida where stereotypes come from. It’s simply not true.

            Tony also mentioned Parochial schools. The Roman Catholic Church has been hunky dory with evolution for decades. It’s a religious with a Jesuit order that is far far more intellectual than most progressives could ever aspire to.

            Tony also forgets that government schools in the US were first created for the express purpose of “Protestant-izing” those immigrant Catholics. It’s why the government school movement started out in Puritan Massachusetts. The noble vision of government schools was to force all children into a New England Protestant mold. We’re shocked when we discover that schools did that to American Indians, but think it was all noble and right when exactly the same thing happened to the Italians and Irish.

            1. “Ok, we’ll take the Italians, but we don’t want the Irish”

            2. And the parish schools were formed specifically as a response to this.

            3. Don’t be foolish. There weren’t any catholics to “Protestantize” when the Puritans established their schools. The reason was quite simple. They wanted universal literacy for both biblical and civic purposes. That cause was championed country-wide quite rapidly.

              1. He did specify government schools rather than puritan schools.

      4. Not mine. 😉

      5. Depends on the home schooling. Not all homeschoolers are religious fundies.

        1. Of course. Homeschooling also appears, for most, not to be just at home. There are a ton of options, and you can even mix and match. Or, you can select a curriculum that jibes with your ideals. Even some of the more religious homeschoolers opt for a more classical educational style?learning Latin and other more traditional educational measures, which is interesting.

      6. On what evidence do you base your utter lack of doubt, Tony? Are you willing to admit that it is merely blind faith in your own bigotry and ignorance about homeschooling?

        1. I just don’t like people believing in laughable nonsense, because they tend to fuck the world up a lot.

          1. “I just don’t like people believing in laughable nonsense, ”

            I’m pretty sure laughable nonsense describes the entire thought process behind signed behavioral agreements for Comedians.

            1. Nonsense, yes, but not laughable. Laughing is expressly forbidden by the contract.

          2. oh dear lord. mirror much?

          3. “I just don’t like people believing in laughable nonsense”

            Then stop doing it.

      7. Not so says a Catholic school 9 year alumni. I was taught to question a lot just by learning about the faith. They can’t teach Catholic history without discussing events like the Reformation. Martin Luther was held in very high esteem for questioning the Medici Pope’s rule. We learned about the Western Schism where you had 2-3 different popes who each claimed divine power. The Great Schism where east and west split. The history of the Catholic church is full of dissent and questioning Church leadership.

        1. Just as long as priests get to continue fucking children, amirite?

          1. No and that never happened to anyone I know for what its worth. It is one reason I am not a practicing Catholic anymore though.

          2. “Just as long as priests get to continue fucking children, amirite?”

            No, you are not right. You continue your perfect record.

          3. Why not since government approved public school teachers are far more likely to do it.

          4. Curious that you take issue with priests fucking children but not Muslims marrying their cousins or, amusingly, fucking children. They greatly outnumber Catholics as well.

          5. An intelligent person couldn’t be so dishonest as to toss out such an obvious red herring, could one?

        2. Catholics aren’t generally creationists, right?

          1. No I was never taught creationism in school as science only as a story that holds great significance to the faith, the creation of the universe by 1 all powerful god and original sin. All the old testament stories are held not as science or literal truth but stories that contain wisdom and values we should strive for; some being more important to the faith then others.

          2. Very generally speaking, you need to find sects that believe in a more literal interpretation of everything in the bible to locate creationists consistently. Baptists being a prime group of people who have taken an unfortunately literal interpretation of things that were literally stated to be educational stories by the men who wrote the stories.

      8. As usual, Tony is a fucking retard that doens’t know his ass from his head (their probably the same thing on him) Home schooled kids graduate at higher rates from both college and high school than kids who are public schooled. Look it up you fucking dumb ass or are too fucking stupid to do that? Just a FYI, drooling, bottom feeding scum fuck not every person who home schools or sends their kids to a private school is “religious”, your bigotry is showing, shit face.

  8. So this is kind of a fun exercise to see if you can make people laugh while working within extreme constraints.

    I can’t help but notice that it seems that atheists are fair game.

    1. they still have white working class males…always good for a yuck or two

      1. So this white working class male walks into a bar…

        1. ‘. . . that I totally was just holding, officer. Complete accident.’ says the Antifa thug.

          1. OK, that was actually pretty funny. 😀

    2. I can’t help but notice that it seems that atheists are fair game.

      You could stop comedians from performing them, but the atheist jokes write themselves.

    3. Did you notice that Muslims are protected twice?

  9. I spent a month in London last year and it’s a great city and I love it but they are plunging head first into progressive madness. This kind of propaganda causes mental illness because people wonder what’s wrong with them that they don’t think it’s funny. And the NHS much prefers to treat mental ‘disease’ because it’s so much more fun than the real thing. And they are not accountable to the patients, so it doesn’t matter how bad they screw up the society. In fact the worse the better. When I was there they were actually floating a proposal to create an Airbnb style site for hospital patients because they had long since run out of beds and were billeting patients in hallways.

    1. This is not new for Britain, just a new flavor of the same old madness. Remember that Great Britain was pretty much a socialist nation for a while in the sixties and seventies. It takes a few generations for that taint to get washed out.

      1. Britons never wash their taint.

    2. This reminds me of Life of Brian.

      1. Can’t help but note that The Pythons would be completely unwelcome at this event. Can’t imagine a single routine of theirs that would be acceptable here. Well, maybe The Argument Clinic.


    3. When I was there they were actually floating a proposal to create an Airbnb style site for hospital patients because they had long since run out of beds and were billeting patients in hallways.

      This is an inevitable result of healthcare nationalization. Another inevitable result is killing off the elderly and those who are unable to work, but hey when you’re making an omelette…

  10. Garbage Island at it again.

  11. Comedians joke about bigotry because bigotry is ridiculous. Societies grow and change by shaming and ridiculing uncivil behavior. If we are no longer allowed to ridicule uncivil behavior, then we are PROTECTING bigots.

    Next step… book burning. Let’s start with Fareinheit 451, the temperature that books burn.

    If you want to read something really funny, read Lois K. Bujold’s Ethan of Athos. It would be a poorer world if that book never existed and we never met Ethan, a sensible and compassionate gay man in a crazy, confusing, homophobic world…

    Maybe if we never admit that homophobes exist, they will all go away. And, maybe if we never talk about sex, kids will never do “it” And, maybe if nobody is allowed to ridicule the invisible man in the sky, people will never figure out it was just a story. And, maybe if we don’t say that a prophet who marries and consumates his marriage to a nine year old girl is a pedophile, then the scary terrorist will not kill us and who cares about child rape, anyway? Not offending the terrorist is important than standing up for child rape victims. That’s what education is about, right? Hiding and avoiding truth because we are scared of it, and never offending anyone with truth?

    We’ve been here before. Let’s not go here again.

    1. lather, rinse, repeat

    2. Comedians joke about bigotry because bigotry is ridiculous.

      It’s amazing that people don’t get this. Or think it’s bad anyway. When a comedian makes a joke using a racial stereotype, the joke isn’t about the people of some particular race. It’s about the stereotype.

      1. “Black people drive like this…and white people drive like this…”

      2. That is just plain stupidly wrong.

        1. OK, enlighten me, asshole.

      3. Pretty much Lenny Bruce’s point about language in general. But that requires being able to think to at least a second level, something beyond not only these event organizers but Robby Soave as well

    3. GryFalcon speaks the truth.

      1. I disagree. The world wouldn’t be one iota poorer if Ethan of Athos never existed. I’m not saying we should burn the book and I don’t think or know that it’s particularly terrible, it’s just not that divergent/original or relevant… to anyone.

    4. It’s a stretch to go from “we don’t want sensitive high-stress topics at our light-hearted recreational event” to “they don’t teach about X, Y and Z in their courses”.

      I don’t watch horror movies or war movies. I don’t find them amusing or relaxing. Just don’t like ’em. That doesn’t mean I don’t learn about real horrors we inflict on each other every day, or what’s going on in our wars (and, of course, the horrors of war). I don’t need my entertainment to include those topics to know about them.

      Further, this is about comedians hired for a specific event. It’s really not strange that they have guidance for what is and isn’t acceptable at their own event, and puts no limits on what those comedians do at other events.

      Or to put it another way… if I hire a band to play my wedding, I’m probably going to have a couple of songs I want to hear, and a bunch of guidelines for what is/isn’t acceptable. If I’m really worried, I might go over their planned songs in detail to decide what services I’m paying for. This doesn’t preclude them from, later on, going and paying for their own stage where they play whatever they want.

      Confusing the two is a mistake that’s being made here, a lot.

      1. Confusing the two is a mistake that’s being made here, a lot.

        On the contrary, there’s no mistaking progressives emulating a form of secular puritanism.

  12. Which way is the way to the “unsafe space”?

  13. Is the questioning of religious dogma no longer a fundamental purpose of the university?

    WTF? Questioning religious dogma was NEVER a fundamental purpose of the university. There’s so much wrong in that assertion I have no idea where to start.

    1. Learning how to spot and question dogma is a purpose of universities. It doesn’t matter which kind.

      1. exactly its why tenure was created so as to protect those who question dogma. Unfortunately now only those who don’t question the dogma get tenure, it is now used to protect itself not new ideas

    2. WTF? Questioning religious dogma was NEVER a fundamental purpose of the university. There’s so much wrong in that assertion I have no idea where to start.

      Not the way Robby puts it. University elites were allowed to question dogma among themselves/each other. The idea that Universities had a purpose of undermining dogma among the populace at large is a pretty biased and/or absurd interpretation.

      1. Of course, pretty much all old universities were explicitly religious institutions for most of their history.
        But maybe questioning religious dogma could be said to have been part of their purpose in the last century or so.

  14. Because “love, joy and acceptance” are such rich veins of comedic material.

    For people with no sense of humor.

    1. Sounds like the names of three trans hookers.

      1. You just graduated from university. 😉

  15. as an aside to the ridiculousness of this policy — whey have we decided to attach the suffix -ism to some and -phobia to others?

    If it’s racism…why isn’t homoism?

    1. I think homoism is just buttsex.

      The -phobia ones are weird, though. And they presume too much, that anti-gay bigotry is always about fear.

      1. This is what I don’t get. Sure for some folks not liking the homosexual lifestyle, it might be from fear…but for many it isn’t about that at all.

        same with racism on the flip side — lots of racist bigots are racist out of fear…yet it isn’t racephobia

        anyway…just doesn’t make sense to me…i’m guessing the “phobia” ones are newer ones and the cult of social justice warriors probably wish they could go back and attach phobia to the old ones too (sexism, ageism, racism) because it sounds worse

        1. Ironically enough, they’re labelling themselves courageous by saying they lack phobia.

          Because when I think of SJWs, courage is immediately what comes to mind.

  16. “Tolerance Policy”

    Yeah, I don’t think that’s a very accurate description. Tolerance goes both ways, morons. This is a very intolerant policy.

    1. It’s like a drug policy – it’s a policy against what’s described.

  17. Can anyone come up with a joke that would pass through the campus censors…AND be funny? And I don’t mean mildly amusing, like a 90 minute Garrison Keillor dialog, I mean “worthy of buying a ticket to see this performer tell this joke.” Otherwise, what’s the point of watching comedy?

    1. I think Bill Cosby would meet the requirements of a safe comedian however he is no longer allowed to speak

      1. He is still triggering to anyone who slipped on a floor covered in jello.

      2. reruns of Picture Pages

      1. pirates are fun!

      2. Seriously, it would seem that they’re all-in on (anti-)Nazi humor.

        It’s like the whole ‘cultural appropriation’ nonsense; if you take away Cinco De Mayo and culturally appropriated music, all we’ll have left as a culture is is brutal colonialism.

        1. People should stick to their own kind. That seems to be the SJW way at this point. They may not want to put it that way, but how else can you avoid the pitfalls of cultural appropriation, unequal power relationships, etc?

          1. >>>stick to their own kind

            thought multiculturalism?

  18. Every comedian should sign it, take the cash, get on the stage, sit on a stool and have the act go like this:

    “So, uh, comedy…yeah…I’m getting paid whether you laugh or not, so the joke’s on you.”

    1. That schtick was already covered by Andy Kaufman.

      1. Is that what he was doing? I just assumed he was Patient Zero for Asperger’s.

  19. There are some really funny off colour comedians that come out of the UK. I can only hope someone signs their contract and forfits his payment by mocking the everloving shit outta them before they goosestep him off the stage… hopefully akin to how Bill Burr tore into that crowd in Philly that time… I can hope…

    1. ^^this. i would handle it like this.

  20. Biphobia? What is that, being afraid of something but also kinda being into it?

    1. Fear of bifocals and bicycles.

  21. An employer specifying acceptable bounds of a contract employee’s contracted services in the contract doesn’t seem terribly noteworthy to me.

    1. If they were a publicly-traded company I’d worry about the stockholders, though. Hiring comedians not to do comedy…how else are they wasting money?

      1. Seriously?

        You think when companies hire entertainers for their big corporate events, they don’t have a “not allowed” list they go over beforehand?

        That’s na?ve.

        1. Of course they do. And such events are fucking boring.

          1. It’s the Hillary Clinton comedy extravaganza!

        2. Seriously, when companies hire entertainers they usually write their material for them. If not that, they directly edit it. That usually obviates any necessity for a ‘not allowed list’.

    2. Fair enough, but even with that, there use to be a deference to the comic to dance around the line but never cross depending on the type of gig it was. It’s called being a professional. But breaking out the contracts looks more like a CYA move.

      Not to mention there should be a degree of caveat emptor before even inviting a comic to your stage. If you were stupid enough to invite Doug Stanhope to your show without researching why type of act he does, that’s on you. No contract will save you, and you can keep your fucking money.

      And even incredibly sweet comics like Maria Bamford get caught in the crosshairs just for being off center in the New Prudishness.

      This is just more proof that comics were right in refusing to work universities anymore.

      1. Yes. “Depending on the type of gig”. If the “talent” is the chief performer and main draw to an event, they’re likely to be given free reign. If they’re just a small part of an event, and the event as a whole has a specific tone they’re going for, they’re likely to be restricted. This really isn’t unusual, and while “breaking out the contracts” is a “CYA move” it’s not an unusual one. Getting expectations in writing, before contracts are accepted, is best for everyone involved so there are no cases of confused intent.

        Or to put it another way… if I hire a graphic designer to work on my professional website, I’m going to have expectations. If I hire a songwriter to make me an advertising jingle, same story. If I write a copywriter to produce articles on my site, I’m going to have expectations. And yes, if I hire a comedian to entertain at my corporate Christmas party, I’m going to have expectations. And getting those expectations in writing is perfectly in-line with being professional.

        1. So if I go to a graphic designer with a contract that read: “you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-theism,” what does that even mean? What expectation has been conveyed (beyond I should avoid you like the plague)? Is it even possible to honor all the terms of the contract, and what are the penalties for being agist, but not transphobic?

          The other part of contracts is that they have to be enforceable, there has to be a party to adjudicate oversights, and there has to be a means of enforcement/penalties leveled.

          There is no contract being presented here. This is a press release.

          If they wanted to be certain, they could invite comedians to submit proposed routines, but that would put the onus on them, and no one short of uncle Bob, who tells a few jokes around the office, would even entertain such a vague “contract”.

          I can’t wait to see what a rousing success this comedy event is.

          1. what does that even mean?

            It means you don’t slip anti-semetic messages into a comic-book and expect to keep your job.

            You’re trying to make this sound much more complicated then it is.

            1. So it is complicated enough to require a contract, but I’m making it too complicated by asking exactly what that entails? Uh-huh.

              According to writer Arie Kaplan, some Holocaust survivors objected to Spiegelman making a comic book out of their tragedy. Literary critics such as Hillel Halkin objected that the animal metaphor was “doubly dehumanizing”, reinforcing the Nazi belief that the atrocities were perpetrated by one species on another, when they were actually done by humans against humans. Comics writer and critic Harvey Pekar and others saw Spiegelman’s use of animals as potentially reinforcing stereotypes. Pekar was also disdainful of Spiegelman’s overwhelmingly negative portrayal of his father, calling him disingenuous and hypocritical for such a portrayal in a book that presents itself as objective. Comics critic R. C. Harvey argued that Spiegelman’s animal metaphor threatened “to erode [Maus’s] moral underpinnings”, and played “directly into [the Nazis’] racist vision”.

              Even something like Maus has been accused of being anti-semeitic.

              But of course having a tolerance policy shields you from vagaries of actually having to decide whether depicting Jew as animals is anti-Semitic or not, and having a contract that doesn’t stipulate either way means you can occupy a superposition of offense/non-offense, but even using that reference is an obvious allusion to Nazism.

              Nope. Not complicated at all.

  22. the questioning of religious dogma no longer a fundamental purpose of the university?

    Of the university system? Not really, though it some may use challenging religious dogma as a basis for teaching you to think critically – that’s the only ‘global’ value of a liberal arts degree – and teach you the foundation knowledge you’ll need to be functional in your career or even put you in a place to add to the sum total of human knowledge.

    Of the University of London? No, absolutely not. At least not if its Anglican religious dogma.

  23. This would never have past network censors in the US when it ran on the BBC back in the 70s.

    Of course now the BBC is cutting scenes like that out of its old shows.

    There was apparently quite a debate in the press a few years ago. Common sense lost.

    1. Actually, what I actually meant in my first sentence was that American network censors would never have allowed a scene like that in one of their shows. PBS did air “Fawlty Towers” and included that episode and also “The Germans” (“Don’t mention the war”) well into the nineties, and possibly the noughts, without anyone raising a stink.

      1. Minor correction; the scene I linked was actually in the episode “The Germans” not in some different one. According to the article I linked anyway.

        I see Netflix has both seasons on now and one of them is “The Germans”.

        I’ve been meaning to rewatch it for a while now. Maybe tonight.

    2. You mean people don’t watch Fawlty Towers and come away thinking that the Major is supposed to be an example of how to behave?

    3. There’s no revisionism like historical revisionism. Soon, people won’t be able to figure how how guys like Mel Brooks made movies when they don’t make any sense. You know, because the majority of the scene’s in the movie are no longer there.

      Actually, I haven’t even watched the Netflix version of Blazing Saddles. I’m curious how much they had to edit it to play it on their platform.

  24. I’d like to hear the dialogue that comes out of these constraints; there is not much they can joke about.

  25. I’ve still yet to understand how shielding against Islamophobia and homophobia is compatible. Like, if I get up there and start ranting about how Allah will smite the fags do I get the boot or am I protected?

    1. Death by bunga.

  26. Was reading the article and came across this little jewel:

    “Comedy isn’t about being ‘kind’ and ‘respectful’ and the only people who get to decide what comedians talk about on stage are… comedians,” Kisin told PJ Media.

    How na?ve! Unless you are paying for the venue yourself, then you will always be at the mercy of the person who is.

    This is the classic conflict between paid-for talent and freelance talent. So long as you’re working on someone else’s dime, you’re at their editorial mercy. Artists of all types have dealt with this for millennia, and it’s nothing unique to comedians.

    So if you really want to be the only person deciding what you talk about on stage, then you need to be your own boss. When you accept that paycheck from someone else? You’re not your own boss anymore, and you’re at their mercy.

    That’s the reality of contract work.

    1. If they want to hire Mao’s little red guard they should just put that in the contract. Would save a lot of time and energy.

    2. I am hoping that the market will not have much demand for this level of editorial control, and promotors and venues will find more profits in a more hands-off approach to talent. I’m sure there is a sizeable demand to host these kind of events, but to most they wouldn’t be distinguishable from a TEDx on campus lecture echo chamber and probably not particularly funny. If there’s a market for it then there’s a market for it.

      Comedy works best when nothing is off the table. It’s often an avenue to opening a halfway reasonable dialog on taboo or contentious issues. Having said that, I’ve noticed a trend toward highly political soapboxing and shaming among some of the bigger standups and it just leaves me thinking “where are the jokes?”.

      I also feel like there is more comedy and parody done in bad faith and resentment. I believe the best parody comes from a genuine fondness for, and understanding of something. Mike Myers exemplifies this in a lot of his roles; Wayne’s World, the beat poet in I Married an Axe Murderer, Austin Powers – he has a genuine appreciation of, and affinity for these characters, and to me that’s why it works so well. That approach is lacking in much of today’s comedy.

      1. Apologies for the Hihnsize wall of text. Hopefully I make a bit more sense!

    3. I do contract work not in entertainment.

      The agreement is both ways. That is also true for any employment. Careful what you sign or agree to.

      Everyone of us is an independent business.

      In this example there was no payment involved. It was an offer for volunteer charity. You knew that right?

      1. Forgot it, but it’s also pretty irrelevant.

        Bottom line is, if you’re not paying for your soap box, you need to be mindful of who is and what their agenda is. Money (and a stage is money) always comes with strings. Expecting a no-strings-attached gig isn’t reasonable.

  27. Save freedom and punch a progressive.

  28. But jew hating is ok, right? right?

    1. Because what are you going to do, teach the Jews about comedy?

      Basketball maybe not so good, but comedy the Jewish people got a team.


  29. Even so, it seems odd to prohibit comedians from making fun of various religions. Is the questioning of religious dogma no longer a fundamental purpose of the university?

    Haha, why no silly the purpose of university is to instill religious dogma!

    I love how that was their takeaway, not ‘what happened to free speech’ or ‘without the things on this list, comedy doesn’t exist’. The religion take was the safest grounds to protest on, since it’s the most disfavored thing on the list.

  30. “Safe space” for a comedy routine?
    Don’t forget the puppy therapy too.
    Only in academia.

  31. We’ve traded a perceived environment of persecution for a real state sponsored one.

    In this one, there is no humour because laughing at ourselves offends someone who will persecute you.

    The verboten list only grows.

    Younger generations are terrified of speaking their minds.

    1. That’s why all their cartoons are fart and poop jokes. The NPC’s approve of those apparently.

  32. A list of acceptable comedians:
    Marcel Marceau.
    (assuming there are no visually impaired audience members)

    And the guy who walks onto the stage, steps up to the microphone, waits 15 minutes, and says “thank you all”.

  33. Go fuck yourselves asshole commie turds

  34. The biggest crime here is pure rudeness.

    The Telegraph article explains what happened. A student organization supporting UNICEF got this idea for a fundraiser. So they sent out invitations to a number of comedians. There was no pay involved.

    With the invitations they sent this document with all of these safe space rules which they were supposed to sign.

    Well why would they do that? They could have just asked the performers to tone it down blah..blah.

  35. Stand up comedy is one of those things I really like.

    Not everyone does but we could talk about appendicitis all day. Now make people laugh about it.

    Or lesbian whale watching. A jar of pickles when you are getting the last one out. A visit to the dentist.

    It is the most human of things.

    My grandchildren already learned a joke.

    “Guess what?”

    “Chicken butt”

    Swear I had nothing to do with it.

  36. WOW! So not much will be funny I guess. I am sure they will allow all crude jokes about Trump and the Republicans.

  37. Typical Robby: “I understand, but ?” Robby, you are an unrepentant milquetoast. Grow a pair for once.

    Late-breaking news: the very purpose of comedy is to burst bubbles, shock, poke holes in pretension, bring authority down a peg or two, mock the false “truths” of the day, in other words, to be unsafe and irreverent. Take those elements away and you don’t have comedy. You don’t even have little kids making “poo-poo” jokes. You don’t even have Seinfeld trying to figure out what girl’s name rhymes with a female body part. I sit here trying to figure out how Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Jimmy Durante, Bob Newhart, even Kevin Hart could or would manage to perform under these moronic restrictions. 3 cheers for Kisin.

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