Four shows by the controversial and overtly anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne have been cancelled following opposition from Jewish groups, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported.
Dieudonne was scheduled to perform at Montreal’s Corona Theatre beginning May 14 in a booking by the city's biggest entertainment promoter, Evenko. Luciano Del Negro from the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs wrote to Evenko protesting Dieudonne‘s Montreal appearances.
"He is no longer funny, particularly given his anti-Semitic vitriol and his racist outbursts,” Del Negro told CBC News.
On Friday, the Corona Theatre issued a statement saying it had cancelled the shows "due to contractual conflicts."
Del Negro said that Evenko had promised to be more mindful of who it books in the future. “The company has put into place a protocol to ensure greater scrutiny of the people requesting the use of their venues,” he said.
Dieudonne’s current show, titled Rendez-nous Jésus (Give us back Jesus), has been criticized in France for its Holocaust denial, slurs against the Talmud and praise for Hitler.
Dieudonne is also promoting his feature film, L’Antisemite, which was released earlier this year with the help of Iranian and French funds, noted the EJP. The comic also is being probed by Belgian authorities for inciting racial hatred and xenophobia at a performance he gave in March.
Dieudonne invited his fans to a show on municipal property on Wednesday night, without alerting authorities or applying for required authorization.
“As soon as I found out (Dieudonne’s plans), I requested the police to be attentive and take whatever necessary measures to prevent any incidents, “ stated Mayor of Brussels Freddy Thielemans. “Unfortunately, there had already been an incident, so the police intervened, drafted a report and we stopped the show,” he explained.
The Mayor explained that Dieudonne had given rise to acts of "xenophobia" and "incitement of racial hatred."
Dieudonne has been subjected to a number of judicial proceedings. In 2005, he was found guilty espousing of anti-Semitic rhetoric, having compared the commemoration of the Holocaust to “memorial pornography,” as well as having described the Jews as “slave traders.”
In 2006, he was forced to pay a penalty of 4,500 Euro for defamation after having called a prominent Jewish television personality a “secret donor of the child-murdering Israeli army.”
In 2009, he was sentenced to pay a fine of over 10,000 Euros for “public insult of people of Jewish faith or origin,” relating to a show with revisionist historian Robert Faurisson.