Scrap comedy 'safe spaces'. Satire keeps us honest | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Scrap comedy 'safe spaces'. Satire keeps us honest

This week, the Russian-born comedian Konstantin Kisin has been at the centre of a vaguely heated Twitter spat. Admittedly that might have passed you by if you aren’t fully absorbed in the netherworld of vaguely heated Twitter spats, but thankfully it’s been a quiet news week, so I’ve managed to stay abreast of things.

The flare-up related to an unpaid charity gig organised by a student society of a London university that Kisin had been asked to perform at, in particular a “behavioural agreement form” that he was asked to sign beforehand. This stipulated that certain topics and approaches were off limits, including sexism, racism and homophobia, as well as anti-religious and anti-atheist material.

Kisin didn’t sign. He said: “I didn’t turn down this gig because I’m some racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist comedian. I turned down this gig because if you sign a contract like that, you’re exposing yourself to someone’s bad interpretation. If someone writes a contract like that, the chances are that they will be hypersensitive, vigilant and trying to catch you out. I’m just not interested in that.”

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