Comedian Dane Baptiste reported to police and dropped by agencies following ‘antisemitic death threat’

Stand-up comic posted a threatening message to an unnamed colleague on social media

Nicole Vassell
Friday 03 May 2024 11:38 BST
Dane Baptiste: Why I do comedy - London Live

Comedian Dane Baptiste has been reported to the police and dropped by his talent agencies after issuing an “antisemitic death threat” to an unnamed female comic.

On Wednesday (1 May), Baptiste, 42, posted a message on his Instagram stories directed towards a female “Zionist comedian” who he claimed was monitoring his partner’s page.

The comic then instructed the woman to “sit down with your husband and kids and imagine what their lives will be without you”, before making references to the comedian’s “safety” and claiming that he would visit her “literal doorstep”.

Baptiste’s comments have been reported to the Metropolitan Police, and they are appealing for further information.

The stand-up star, who has appeared on TV shows including 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Live At The Apollo and Mock The Week, has since been dropped by his talent agency, Insanity.

A spokesperson for the agency, which represents figures such as Maya Jama and Mollie King, told The Independent: “Insanity became aware of a social media post published by Dane on Instagram yesterday. The contents of his post are completely at odds with our values and what we stand for.

“We promptly made this clear to him, and are no longer working with him. As an organisation, we do not tolerate hate speech of any kind and are committed to the values of respect and tolerance for all.”

On Thursday (2 May), Baptiste acknowledged the post as a “massive error of judgement” after it was widely criticised by other comedy figures such as David Baddiel and Marcus Brigstocke.

Baptiste acknowledged the post as a ‘massive error of judgement’
Baptiste acknowledged the post as a ‘massive error of judgement’ (Eamonn M McCormack/Getty)

“In the recent past, I have received a number of threatening and abusive messages from accounts accusing me of antisemitism for having pro-Palestinian views,” the statement begins.

“I have a new family and my partner made me aware that some of these same people were monitoring her Instagram account.

“In a massive error of judgement, I posted an excessive and impulsive response, hoping to dissuade anybody monitoring my family.”

Baptiste’s apology continues: “I made a point to say Zionist and not Jewish, but I appreciate how disturbing, threatening and incendiary that language is, I would categorically state I have no ill intention towards the Jewish community and never have.

“I have a loving family of which I am massively protective of; I reacted poorly and emotionally to a perceived threat with no considered thought to the consequences, and I apologise profusely for my actions to the Jewish community, my colleagues and my fans.”

Elsewhere on Thursday, a second talent management company, Gag Reflex, confirmed to Deadline that the agency no longer represents Baptiste following his remarks.

In the original post, Baptiste wrote: “Your agent won’t keep you safe. And I’ll sit in prison while your family sit at the cemetery.

“First and last warning. Your act is dumb but don’t be a dumb woman. For your own safety.”

The Independent has reached out to Dane Baptiste for further comment.

In 2014, Baptiste was the first Black British comedian nominated for the Best Newcomer Edinburgh Comedy Award.

He has since led two BBC shows, Sunny D and Bamous, and hosted his own podcast, Dane Baptiste Questions Everything, until December 2023.

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