University Makes Comedian Sign Behavioral Agreement Prior to Charity Show
By nature, comedy isn’t a safe space. At some point, someone or something is going to get mocked, satirized, or destroyed through humor.
So obviously, there is no humor allowed at many a university campus where safe space principles rule the land. Make fun of the wrong group or topic and prepare yourself to be strung up by the mob.
The University of London, however, thinks its fixed this problem by coming up with safe space contracts they make comedians sign ahead of shows. One such comedian is Russian free speech advocate Konstantin Kisin, who was set to perform a charity show at the University.
Before the show can go on, the University sent him the bizarre contract that included the following according to PJ Media:
“Attached is a short behavioural agreement form that we will ask for you to sign on the day to avoid problems,” wrote Fisayo Eniolorunda, the club’s event organizer, in an email to Kisin and four other comedians sent Sunday.
“This comedy night… aims to provide a safe space for everyone to share and listen to Comedy,” states the behavioral agreement form. “This contract has been written to ensure an environment where joy, love, and acceptance are reciprocated by all.”
“By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism.”
“All topics must be presented in a way that is respectful and kind. It does not mean that these topics can not be discussed. But, it must be done in a respectful and non-abusive way,” the agreement added.
Kisin also posted it to Twitter.
Funny enough, he’s not even getting paid for it.
Kisin told PJ Media that he “couldn’t believe it.”
“But then I remembered the Nimesh Patel story from last week and Jerry Seinfeld saying he doesn’t play colleges and it started to make sense,” Kisin told PJ Media over the phone.
“Comedy isn’t about being ‘kind’ and ‘respectful’ and the only people who get to decide what comedians talk about on stage are… comedians,” Kisin told said.
“Comedy is supposed to push boundaries and challenge people and comedians should be free to mock religion, atheism and a whole load of other things,” he added.
And Kisin is correct.
Why universities, places that are supposed to help prepare students for the real world, give into infantilizing behaviors with their students by guarding them against anything that may hurt their feelings is a huge disservice to its students as well as society as a whole. Not only will these students be ill-prepared to deal with the world, the world isn’t going to know how to deal with them.