A comedy night banned Conservative-voting comedians in the name of “inclusiveness” in the wake of the British general election, telling them to find “free speech zones” elsewhere.
“Comedy-by-Bow used to be an inclusive comedy night where all were welcome. Tonight that has changed,” wrote promoter Mark O’Neil in a now-deleted post on the night’s now-deleted Facebook page.
“Be aware that if you are a Tory voter you are no longer welcome to perform here. You can have your own ‘free speech zones’ somewhere else, because there will not be a platform for you here,” he added.
“Your vote proved that you as a person are fundamentally incompatible with the values of the night and the values of those running it. You are not welcome here.”
He later added, without apparent irony, that “The values of the night are of tolerance, support, and inclusiveness [emphasis added]. If you put your cross next to the Conservative box you have proven that you do not hold those values and you are not welcome here.’
This brave comedy club is banning audience members who voted the wrong way in the general election.
All conservatives should be visibly branded in some way so that we can exclude them from other public spaces.
Only through division shall we be healed. pic.twitter.com/kMxIitagsv
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) December 13, 2019
“This brave comedy club is banning audience members who voted the wrong way in the general election,” commented Titania McGrath, a popular social justice warrior parody account created by comedian Andrew Doyle.
“All conservatives should be visibly branded in some way so that we can exclude them from other public spaces,” she added in mock approval.
“Only through division shall we be healed.”
As it turns out, however, it is Comedy-by-Bow and Mr O’Neil who have lost their platform rather than Conservative-voting comics.
The Galvanisers Union which hosted the open mic night, and was apparently unaware of the ‘No Tories’ policy until it began receiving a barrage of criticism on social media, has axed the event and “parted ways” with O’Neil.
“It was my opinion and mine alone at the time and I have taken time to reflect on why I felt that way,” the sheepish promoter told comedy website Chortle.
“I made a mistake, and I hope you can realise that I am sorry for that mistake, which is why I will be leaving the original posts for anyone to take full context,” he added — although as mentioned above the posts and the entire Comedy-by-Bow page have in fact been taken down.
“With time to reflect I realise the heinousness of what I said and why it should never have been said. I will be taking the feedback as a learning exercise to better myself and grow as a person.
“I am truly sorry for any offence I may have committed. At this time division is not what we need, but to come together with our differences and listen to each other and move together as one.”
A message from the Galvanisers Team: pic.twitter.com/tkR59FsJ1d
— Galvanisers Union (@GalvanisersU) December 14, 2019