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Jerry Sadowitz hits back at Edinburgh Fringe cancellation after complaints of ‘homophobic’ content

One person described the comedian's show as "indefensible".

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Wiki Commons

Jerry Sadowitz has responded to complaints that his comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe was homophobic after it was cancelled on Saturday (13 August).

Sadowitz’s second show at the Pleasance theatre, Jerry Sadowitz: Not for Anyone, was pulled after an “unprecedented” number of complaints over the content being “extreme in its racism, sexism, homophobia, and misogyny,” the Guardian reported on Sunday (14 August).

One person who saw Sadowitz’s show on Friday described the content as “indefensible” to The Scottish Sun and that “The problem was not the audience”.

They added: “He called Rishi Sunak a ‘p***’; said the economy was awful because it is run by ‘blacks and women’.”

At the announcement of the show’s cancellation on Saturday, the 60-year-old Scottish comedian tweeted: “Did a show last night, 75 mins, thought it went well. Didn’t see any walkouts.”

He continued: “Today I’m told my show’s been cancelled. Great stuff. I’m truly sorry for everyone who travelled to see the show tonight.”

The Guardian reported that they were told around 30-40 people walked out of the Friday (12 August) night show and the report notes the Pleasance said: “subsequent abuse directed to our teams is also equally unacceptable.”

On Sunday, Sadowitz released a statement on Twitter addressing the controversy in which he also confessed to exposing his genitals to the crowd. 

Sadowitz added that as well as being told about walkouts and “abuse of staff” his act has been “cheapened and simplified” and labelled as “unsafe”.

Conceding he doesn’t “always get it right, especially at the speed of which I speak … and I don’t always agree with my own conclusions” Sadowitz says he’s “offended” by people walking out before sharing the material “I am stupid enough to believe is funny, sometimes important and worth saying.”

Sadowitz defended exposing himself “for the purpose of the funny line which follows it”. 

A number of fellow comedians sided with Sadowitz, including Katherine Ryan who tweeted: “Very strange to cancel someone’s entire run for apparent ‘offense’ when there’s a content warning right on the booking page. So why….”

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.