Monday 15 August 2022

"Not acceptable"

When the BBC first reported on Saturday that comedian Jerry Sadowitz's show at The Pleasance in Edinburgh had been cancelled due to 'not acceptable' material I read their report and thought it a typically uninformative BBC article, so I googled around and found a hot-off-the-presses piece at Chortle that was far less prissy. 

Reading Chortle's account revealed why the show had been so 'controversial'. 

The BBC has now published a second report on the story that still doesn't give readers much of a clue as to exactly what kind of things in the act proved so provocative to some in the audience, other than the usual words on these occasions - "racism", "misogyny", "sexism" and "homophobia". 

The main difference though between the BBC's two takes and Chortle's take is that Chortle reports both sides of the story. Chortle quotes a critical member of the audience AND a number of comedians and celebrities sticking up for Jerry Sadowitz and condemning the theatre's decision to cancel his second show. Though it quotes JS himself, the BBC has none of that - which is very BBC these days, particularly when it comes to these kind of stories. It reports the 'outrage' from the woke side and presents the 'cancellation' [here literally] without even suggesting alternative points of view that disapprove of the 'cancellation'. 

And - unlike the BBC - Chortle's opening paragraph hints, with a very BBC use of 'insists', that The Pleasance's statements on the matter have been self-contradictory on the issue of free speech:
Edinburgh’s Pleasance venue has insisted it champions freedom of speech after pulling a Jerry Sadowitz gig.
That's something many people elsewhere have picked up on, but the BBC's online journalists clearly decided isn't an issue that needs trouble their readers.

One curious name among Chortle's collection of JS defenders is Jeremy Vine who reacted to the news by saying:
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.
I wonder if lots of the younger BBC activists will spot that and accuse him of being on the side of  "extreme racism, misogyny, sexism and homophobia?" 

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