An American-Scots comedian who had his Edinburgh Festival Fringe show cancelled has issued a statement defending his act and is urging organisers to apologise to people who travelled to see it.
Jerry Sadowitz appeared at The Pleasance at Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday and was due to appear for two nights.
However, the comedian announced that his show on Saturday had been cancelled.
The Pleasance Theatre Trust said that it had cancelled Sadowitz’s second and final show at the venue “with immediate effect”, indicating that his material “does not align with our values”.
The Trust said that “opinions such as those displayed on stage by Sadowitz are not acceptable and The Pleasance are not prepared to be associated with such material”.
The original listing for the show included a warning: “This show contains strong language and themes some may find distressing”.
In a statement, Sadowitz claimed that during the show on Friday he “left with no hint of anything going wrong”.
It is understood that there were audience members who attended on Friday who made complaints, and it was claimed that there was “abuse of staff”.
Sadowitz wrote: “In addition to now being told there were multiple walkouts and ‘abuse of staff’ my act is now being cheapened and simplified as unsafe, homophobic, misogynistic and racist.
“Alot [sic] of thought goes into my shows and while I don’t always get it right, especially at the speed of which I speak…and I don’t always agree with my own conclusions(!)…I am offended by those who, having never seen me before, HEAR words being shouted in the first five minutes before storming out without LISTENING to the material which I am stupid enough to believe is funny, sometimes important and worth saying.
“Additionally, there’s a lot of silly, exaggerated irony and nonsense, real and exaggerated anger and bile, and even getting my d**k out is for the purpose of the funny line which follows it. (No I won’t tell you what it is…see the show for yourself…or better still… just stay at home).
“I ask nobody to agree with anything I say or do on stage… God forbid they should end up like me… and I have never ONCE courted a mainstream audience to come to my shows because guess what??? In real life, I really DON’T don’t want to upset anyone…including Anthony Alderson.
“The show is what it is, for those who enjoy it. The rest of you…please stick to Carry On films.
“P.S. If the Pleasance can’t apologise to me they should at least apologise to the 300 people who paid for and travelled to see the show on Saturday.”
Anthony Alderson, director of The Pleasance, described the material as “not acceptable”.
The Pleasance has so far declined to detail which parts of the show brought about the decision to cancel Saturday’s performance.
“The Pleasance is a venue that champions freedom of speech and we do not censor comedians’ material,” he said.
“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.”
Refunds are to be issued to those who brought tickets for the Saturday show.
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