News and Commentary

College Students Make Comedian Sign ‘Safe Space’ Contract Ahead Of Charity Event

With the recent backlash against Kevin Hart over his short-lived Oscars hosting gig, a whole new generation of funnymen will arise that are too afraid of losing everything over a joke that offends someone in the audience. Soon, they will be signing contractual agreements ahead of showtimes about what they can and cannot say. A student club at the University of London is a leading example of this coming Orwellian nightmare.

According to PJ Media, the UNICEF on Campus chapter at the University of London invited five local comedians to perform at an event, all of whom were asked to sign a “behavioral agreement” to avoid any problems. One of the invited guests was Russian-born free speech advocate Konstantin Kisin.

“Attached is a short behavioural agreement form that we will ask for you to sign on the day to avoid problems,” wrote Fisayo Eniolorunda, the club’s event organizer, in an email to Kisin.

The “behavioral agreement” form says the chief aim of the event is to provide a “safe space” for everyone to experience “joy, love and acceptance.”

“This comedy night … aims to provide a safe space for everyone to share and listen to Comedy,” the agreement reads. “This contract has been written to ensure an environment where joy, love, and acceptance are reciprocated by all.”

“By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism,” the contract continues. “All topics must be presented in a way that is respectful and kind. It does not mean that these topics can not be discussed. But, it must be done in a respectful and non-abusive way.”

Speaking with PJ Media, Kisin said he understands why certain comedians no longer play college events. “I remembered the Nimesh Patel story from last week and Jerry Seinfeld saying he doesn’t play colleges and it started to make sense,” Kisin said.

Jerry Seinfeld said in 2015 that college kids had become too politically correct for comedy. “I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC,'” he said. “They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice,'” he said. “They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”

Kisin is the last comedian in the world that college students should ask to sign an agreement not to offend anyone, considering that he co-hosts the podcast TRIGGERnometry, which routinely blasts social justice warriors, academia, and censorship.

“Comedy isn’t about being ‘kind’ and ‘respectful’ and the only people who get to decide what comedians talk about on stage are … comedians,” Kisin told PJ Media. “Comedy is supposed to push boundaries and challenge people and comedians should be free to mock religion, atheism and a whole load of other things.”

Kisin supports the UNICEF cause but announced on Monday that he could not perform at the event so long as the behavioral contract remains on the table.

The UNICEF chapter at the University of London is independent of UNICEF’s national organization.