Comedian Charged With Human Rights Violation By Lesbian Insulted At Club

Comedian Guy Earle has been called before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for violating the human rights of a lesbian couple with insulting comments at a nightclub. Lorna Pardy, 32, filed the complaint after she was insulted at dinner with her partner. She alleges Earle, restaurant owner Salam Ismail and Zesty Food Services Inc. “discriminated against her in the provision of a service … on the basis of her sex and her sexual orientation.”

We have been following attacks on free speech in the West, including in Canada, here and here. Canada’s human rights tribunals have been at the center of the controversy over limits on free speech, here.

Comedy clubs are known for often bawdy and offensive speech. What is interesting in this case is that the complaining party actually elevated the dispute to the point of physical contact by throwing water in the face of the comedian. There may be a legitimate basis for complaint by these women, but to elevate the matter to a human rights violation with claims of post-traumatic stress seems a bit over the top.

We saw a vile racist outburst by Michael Richards (aka Kramer) recently in a confrontation with hecklers:

The incident ruined his career but it was not made into a human rights matter.

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Murray Geiger-Adams refused demands by Earle’s lawyer to consider challenges based on free speech and jurisdictional questions. Earle’s lawyer stormed out of the hearing.

Earle says that Pardy was heckling him and that he responded by swearing at her.

Pardy said that the incident occurred during open-mic night at Zesty’s Restaurant on an open-microphone comedy night. She says that during the argument the women were called “dykes, bitches and c—.” She admits that she threw water in Earle’s face in order “to snap him out of whatever rage he was in.” She claims to have suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome since the May 2007 incident.

For the full story, click here.

32 thoughts on “Comedian Charged With Human Rights Violation By Lesbian Insulted At Club

  1. I guess the Liquor Industry got the best of him……He’ll have to watch his tongue in cheek humor…But that is another story…

  2. I am filing this under the category “Ways to trivialize Human Rights.”

    You go to a comedy club, and a comedian says rude, crude, and offensive things? Why is anyone surprised by that?

  3. Guy Earl recounts the event. (CAUTION: foul language and off-color comedy)~ but hey, that’s what the article is about.

  4. This is exactly how Muslims think. They think they have a right not to be insulted. Oh, and insult is all relative too. It’s subjective.

    Muslims have thought this way for over a millennium, which is how it came to be a tradition to murder people who insulted you (Van Gogh, for example)

    Street gangs use this same gutter ethos. You die if you diss them, or even look at them inappropriately.

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

    I learned that in elementary school.

  5. Tootie 1, March 30, 2010 at 11:37 am

    This is exactly how Muslims think. They think they have a right not to be insulted. Oh, and insult is all relative too. It’s subjective.

    Muslims have thought this way for over a millennium, which is how it came to be a tradition to murder people who insulted you (Van Gogh, for example)

    ————————-

    Wow. Really? You really typed that and hit “Submit”? Was there any hint of a voice in the back of your head that said, “Uh, wait …. This sounds amazingly stupid. Maybe I should re-phrase this…”?

    You really think that ALL Muslims think a certain way? Did you try asking any of your Muslim friends if they thought that way?

    There are hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, and yes, some of them are touchy, thin-skinned, insecure, jerks. But the majority are regular folks worried about taking care of their families and paying the bills, just like anyone else. And, yes, if you say something stupid and insulting to them (Oh, like, “All Muslims think X”) they’re going to exhibit a healthy level of self respect and stand up for themselves. (Actually, many Muslims I’ve met have been extraordinarily polite and respectful of guests. If you were in some of these peoples homes saying fairly stupid things, they’d probably let it slide and offer you more tea, rather than being rude enough to point out that you’re saying something stupid.)

    You go on to say, essentially, that ALL gang members always think this way. Have you ever met a member of an urban street gang, and spent any time talking with him/her? (or a Muslim for that matter?) I know you’re too terrorized to ever set foot in an actual city, so I suggest that you go to your library (as long as you don’t think they’re a Communist plot, of course) and skim some parts of “Gang Leader for a Day” by Sudhir Venkatesh. It is risky, as you might (gasp!) learn something. Oh, and it will provide you with indirect contact with 1)an American of Indian (the country, not the synonym for “Native American”) heritage, and 2)a person associated with Universities. As a result you’ll be able make sweeping generalizations about these groups of people about whom you know very little.

    Come to think of it, describing societies where “respect” is paramount and “insults” are reacted to with violence more universally describes “conservative” and “traditional” societies rather than any particular religious, ethnic or socio-economic group.

  6. Tom,

    That’s our Tootie. You never know what’s going to come out of that mouth. It’s always an adventure.

    And by “adventure” I mean “the logical equivalent of projectile vomiting”. Messy, loud, often both stinky and totally avoidable as well as socially inappropriate.

    Now go on. Ask me how a raven is like a writing desk?

  7. It can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front.

  8. Duh,

    Consider it calling his bluff. Plus I’ve gone nearly 30 years without ever hearing the answer to the riddle and am too lazy to google it.

  9. Which strangely enough is a lot like the definition of Tootie.

    It can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is never put with the correct end in front.

  10. Gyges,

    I love the Riddle-Master of Hed – definitely on my top 10 list of epic fantasies!

    Buddha,

    Re: “the logical equivalent of projectile vomiting”

    I narrowly avoided major iced tea spewage – very funny! ;-) (And an accurate description as well).

  11. Debroah,

    Uncle Cecil is an excellent source of information! I once memorized the poetic question and answer about Schrodinger’s cat (from his first book) for an english class…

    “Schrodinger, Erwin! Professor of Physics!
    Wrote daring equations! Confounded his critics!
    …”

  12. All comedy is discriminatory. It it is also mean-spirited and demeaning, it is no longer funny, but it is not a human rights violation because no one has the right to be free from ridicule. If any of these ladies is truly suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, one can only imagine the psychic damage that real stress might produce in such frail creatures.

  13. This story was all over the news here this morning. Ridiculous….absolutely ridiculous. Unfortunately anyone these days can cry PTSD when they should really be in intense DBT for BPD.

  14. Comedy is funny so long as you are not the target. When you can turn a joke then its funny. How many Jewish people really get upset when on of their own is making money? They turned a liability into profitability.

  15. AY,

    I beg to differ. Comedy is funny even if you are the target. Funny is funny.

    The extent of largess of one’s own self-deprecation has a higher threshold in some than in others. That’s another story entirely.

  16. Good point, Buddha. I find that self-deprecating humor allows me to let people know that I am aware of the character flaws that they find so transparently obvious, thereby retaining a modicum of dignity by obviating the need for others to point them out to me directly.

  17. Those pussy-eating dykes shouldn,t be mad, I mean come on, Who doesn’t love two women with each others love cream all over their faces. They should be proud to be cunt lickers and not offended!!

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