Canada no to French ‘anti-Semite’ comedy
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Canada no to French ‘anti-Semite’ comedy

Polarizing comedian Dieudonne’s Montreal gigs are called off after local media publicize details about the Jew-baiting performances

Actor and activist Dieudonné M'bala M'bala (photo credit: CC BY-SA Réseau Voltaire, Wikimedia Commons)
Actor and activist Dieudonné M'bala M'bala (photo credit: CC BY-SA Réseau Voltaire, Wikimedia Commons)

A series of performances by a Jew-baiting French comedian has been canceled in Canada.

Dieudonne, a longtime antagonist of France’s Jewish community, will not perform four shows that had been scheduled to take place next week in Montreal. Evenko, the promoter behind the appearances, cited “contractual conflicts” Friday as it called off the shows, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Dieudonne’s planned routine, which reportedly included Holocaust denial and joking praise for Hitler, had been been condemned in a letter to Evenko from Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs — a letter that earned local media attention last week. Evenko had previously pledged to be “more vigilant” in selecting the entertainers it works with, but had not said it would take any action regarding Dieudonne’s shows.

Long a polarizing figure in France, Dieudonne has routinely targeted Jews and Israel in his routines, including a 2003 TV appearance that ended with the comedian giving a Nazi salute and shouting either “Israel” or “Isra-heil.” A supporter of Hezbollah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he has been convicted by a French court of racial defamation, and has faced opposition from a French anti-racism group for his next film, “The Anti-Semite,” which received some of its financing from Iran.

Performances in Europe have also run into trouble in recent months, with the comedian barred from performing in the French town of Angers, and seeing another show shut down mid-performance in Belgium.

Despite his legal troubles, the performer has retained a following. Canada’s National Post reported last week that tickets to Dieudonne’s Montreal shows were “going fast.”

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