Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian’s Fringe show cancelled by venue bosses due to ‘unacceptable’ material

First performance had reportedly prompted complaints from attendees

Louis Chilton
Monday 15 August 2022 08:11 BST
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Venue bosses have cancelled a show by controversial Scottish comedian Jerry Sadowitz at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Sadowitz had been scheduled to play two nights at the Pleasance at Edinburgh International Conference Centre. However, on Saturday (13 August) the second performance was cancelled at short notice.

The Pleasance Theatre Trust described Sadowitz’s material as “not acceptable”, claiming that it “did not align with [the theatre’s] values”.

Sadowitz addressed the cancellation on Twitter on Saturday afternoon. “Did a show last night, 75 mins, thought it went well. Didn’t see any walkouts,” he wrote.

“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 Pleasance Theatre Trust’s official statement reads (per BBC News): “Opinions such as those displayed on stage by Sadowitz are not acceptable and the Pleasance are not prepared to be associated with such material.”

Sadowitz’s show had originally carried a disclaimer at the beginning reading: “This show contains strong language and themes some may find distressing.”

BBC News reports that the decision to cancel the show was taken after receiving complaints from attendees of the first performance.

Pleasance director Anthony Alderson added: “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.”

Jerry Sadowitz photographed in 2003 (Julian Makey/Shutterstock)

Sadowitz addressed the cancellation in a statement shared with The Independent, in which he defended the set that saw him “get his d*** out”, and accused the organisation of “cheapening” it as “unsafe, homophobic, misogynistic and racist”.

Read the comedian’s full statement here.

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