It’s all fun and games until a kid goes missing

By now you’ve probably heard about the Mike Ward OMGSCANDAL. Basically he made an off-colour joke about Cédrika Provencher in a bit about Revenu Québec. (There was a video on YouTube, but it’s been pulled because of that minor pesky copyright thing that bloggers think doesn’t apply to videos posted on YouTube.)

Today… (err, yesterday), Ward posted a video on his website responding to the OMGontroversy (via The Domster). There, he lambasts people who haven’t seen his show for suddenly having a problem with it a month later, and talks about how he’s being judged by random people on the street, getting death threats and is too afraid to start his car.

Now’s about a good time to remind people what the limits are on free speech:

  1. Making a tasteless joke about a missing girl is legal and acceptable, no matter how offensive or unfunny it is. Especially at a show made specifically for offensive humour.
  2. Criticizing said joke is legal and acceptable, no matter how unfair or harsh the criticism is, and it’s not censorship to criticize something.
  3. Criticizing something without knowing the context is legal and acceptable, no matter how uninformed that criticism is or how much it hurts someone’s feelings.
  4. Whining on your blog that people are judging you is legal and acceptable, no matter how pathetic it makes you look. It is also not censorship to do this.
  5. Making death threats based on a bad joke is not legal and is unacceptable, no matter how offensive the joke is or how much you care about this little girl you’ve never met and been told by the media to care about. Ditto for stalking a guy outside his house and suggesting that harm should come to him.

Leave Mike Ward alone. Comedians don’t change based on criticism, they change based on people not laughing at their jokes and not paying attention to them.

(P.S. Speaking about criticizing criticisms, Claude Poirier totally goes ape-shit on Bazzo (from Mike Ward’s blog))

7 thoughts on “It’s all fun and games until a kid goes missing

  1. Marc

    Thanks for sticking up for free speech. I really hope he won’t have to appear before a “human rights commission” like Guy Earle will have to for telling an un-funny joke.

  2. BruB

    Claude Poirier as been on French media for almost 45 years and to this day I don’t understand why,
    he can’t speak properly, french or english. He works with rumors most of the time and he’s a big Bruins fans, if these are not reason to hate him, don’t know what is.

    As for Mike Ward, doN,t like his humor, but that’s a personnal choice, I don’t believe his tasteless jokes deserves what he’s getting, don’t buy his tickets, don’t buy his DVD if you don’t like him, death threats is never an issue.

    Pardonnez mon anglais :)

  3. homer

    what was the religion of the people who uttered the death threats? I mean, why isn’t that brought up? Maybe they are fundamentalists? Oh no, wait. They aren’t muslim.

  4. Karine

    If Chris Rock or George Carlin (may he rest in peace) had said the same joke using some proverbial missing white girl, it would be hilarious. My guess is it’s the typical “let’s not hurt anyone’s feelings” attitude that is prevailing here.He should have added “What, too soon?” at the end of his joke. And not to beat on a dead horse but the joke is not about Cédrika but about Revenu Qc most likely having kidnapped the girl.

  5. homer

    that’s exactly right, it’s not relevant, but i guarantee you, if a death threat was uttered by a muslim, his/her religion would be mentionned…. but i’m just bitter… in retrospect, sorry for the irrelevant post.

  6. patrick lagacé

    @Homer : Thing is, threats uttered by muslims that are reported by the media are, most of the time, related to a religious matters. You know, stuff like threatening to behead someone who drew a cartoon “deemed” offensive to Islam. The parallel with Mike Ward is void, totally, because Ward didn’t bring up religion in the joke, hence the death threats, until proven otherwise, don’t response to a perceived religious slight.


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