Sunday, December 01, 2019

This Is Exactly Why We Need A First Amendment

And a Second Amendment, for those who try to abridge the First:
A Quebec judge rejected part of comedian Mike Ward’s appeal regarding a joke about a disabled boy.

Ward was ordered to pay $35,000 to Jeremy Gabriel, who suffers from a genetic disorder that causes facial deformity and affects his hearing, due to a joke the comedian told at shows between 2010 and 2013.

Two of three judges ruled Mike Ward’s comments regarding Gabriel were not justifiable in a society where freedom of expression is valued.

Ward was originally ordered to pay an additional $7,000 to Gabriel’s mother—a fine which the courts overturned due to the indirect relationship between the joke and the boy’s mother.

The joke in question was regarding Gabriel’s disability. In 2005, Gabriel sang to Pope Benedict and Celine Dion to flesh out his dream of becoming an international singer.

Ward’s jokes called Gabriel a bad singer, stating that he was “terminally ill” and that Gabriel not passing away meant that his “Make a Wish” was invalid. Gabriel was not actually terminally ill, as Gabriel’s genetic disease—Treacher Collins syndrome—does not generally have an effect on lifespan. He was also not a Make-a-Wish kid, as Ward was embellishing the story for the sake of the joke.

Ward added that he tried to drown Gabriel, but he wouldn’t die...

Ward will appeal the case to the Supreme Court, Grey said on Thursday.

While the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of expression, the Appeals Court ruled that Ward had gone too far, passing what’s permissible by law.
His so-called joke isn't funny and is in horrible taste.  I guess people laughed, and I don't know any more of the context beyond what's excerpted above, but I can't imagine living in a country where telling jokes, even offensive jokes, is "passing what's permissible by law."

Lefties, imagine a world in which I get to determine what speech is "permissible by law".  (You'd probably be wrong, but let your fear inform you about government controls on speech.)

I love visiting Canada, and will do so again next summer, but let's not pretend our Northern Neighbor is a lot like us.  Most of us speak the same language, but beyond that, their culture is very different from ours.  I was reminded of that several times during my visit to British Columbia this past summer.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

There are comedians that make me laugh. Jim Gaffigan is one of them. Bob Newhart, Bill Barr and Craig Ferguson are others that make me laugh because they make as much fun of themselves as anyone else. I don't think any of them would make a "joke" like this one. In fact, this kind of sick joke is more along the lines of the grossout kids of humor you see from the current crop of young woke comics as seen in sitcoms and movies.