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Comedy club bans conservatives from open-mic in the name of ‘inclusiveness’

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A comedy night organized at a UK club backfired in an epic way after announcing that conservatives were banned from performing.

The free weekly open-mic night in an East London pub was forced to pull the plug after backlash for touting  “inclusiveness” and telling conservative comedians to find “free speech zones” somewhere else.

Amid the backdrop of the British general election, promoter Mark O’Neil let it be known that anyone who voted Tory was banned from performing at the “Comedy-by-Bow” comedy night.

(Image: Fox News screenshot)

“Comedy-by-Bow used to be an inclusive comedy night where all were welcome. Tonight that has changed,” O’Neil wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post, according to the comedy website Chortle.

“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.

Comedian Andrew Doyle, in a parody account as social justice warrior Titania McGrath, mocked O’Neil’s announcement.

In a glaring lack of self-awareness, the promoter added another comment on the night’s now-deleted Facebook page noting its “inclusiveness.”

“The values of the night are of tolerance, support, and inclusiveness. 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,” he wrote.

But O’Neil was blitzed with criticism and, following the Tory landslide win as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservatives swept aside Britain’s Labour Party, he had to issue an apology.

“The views I expressed on the Comedy-by-Bow page were the result of a severe momentary and emotional lapse in judgement. It was out of order and unacceptable and brought shame to the craft of standup comedy which should rightly be for everyone,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I have no excuse. It was my opinion and mine alone at the time and I have taken time to reflect on why I felt that way,” he added. “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.”

The Galvanisers Union in Bow, which hosted the comedy nights, was in the dark about the ban on conservatives until inundated with backlash.

O’Neil’s insult to Tory-voters in the guise of being inclusive earned him a fitting reward as the comedy club yanked the program, which he hosted, and “parted ways” with the promoter.

“The venue – who are completely innocent in this – and I have parted ways,” he told Chortle.

Twitter users found the irony of the events amusing and well-deserved.

Frieda Powers


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