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Controversial comedian defends getting his penis out during Edinburgh Fringe set

Anish Vij

| Last updated 

Controversial comedian defends getting his penis out during Edinburgh Fringe set

Jerry Sadowitz has issued a statement after getting his penis out during Edinburgh Fringe set on Friday (12 August).

The comedian's second show at The Pleasance at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Saturday (13 August) was cancelled following complaints from viewers.

One audience member told The Scottish Sun: “I was at the show. 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.”

The venue claims that the 60-year-old's jokes 'does not align with our values'.

In a statement posted on social media, Sadowitz said: "I don't wish to humiliate The Pleasance but they are doubling down on their position and I don't want to be made the victim of that.

Jerry Sadowitz has responded after his second Edinburgh Fringe show was axed. Credit: Julian Makey/Shutterstock
Jerry Sadowitz has responded after his second Edinburgh Fringe show was axed. Credit: Julian Makey/Shutterstock

"I repeat... I did a 75 minute show for 600 people that went pretty well and left with no hint of anything going wrong.

He added: "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.

"I am not J** D******* folks... a lot 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 fake and exaggerated anger and bile, and even getting my dick 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 [director of the Pleasance] 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."

Credit: YouTube/Open Media
Credit: YouTube/Open Media

The venue’s director Anthony Alderson 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.”

A spokesperson from The Pleasance Theatre also said: “A large number of people walked out of Jerry Sadowitz’s show as they felt uncomfortable and unsafe to remain in the venue. 

“We have received an unprecedented number of complaints that could not be ignored and we had a duty to respond. 

“The subsequent abuse directed to our teams is also equally unacceptable.”

Credit: YouTube/Open Media
Credit: YouTube/Open Media

It added: “In a changing world, stories and language that were once accepted on stage, whether performed in character or not, need to be challenged. 

“There is a line that we will not cross at the Pleasance, and it was our view that this line was crossed on this occasion. 

“We don’t vet the full content of acts in advance and while Jerry Sadowitz is a controversial comedian, we could not have known the specifics of his performance. 

“The Pleasance has staged his work numerous times over the years, but as soon as we received complaints from those in the building which caused us great concern, we knew we could not allow the final performance to go ahead. 

“The arts and comedy in particular have always pushed the boundaries of social norms but this boundary is always moving. 

“Our industry has to move with it. However, this does not mean that we can allow such content to be on our stages.”

LADbible have contacted Jerry Sadowitz for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: Julian Makey/Shutterstock

Topics: UK News

Anish Vij
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