Seattle comedy club cancels 4 comedians for 'progressive values'

(NewsNation) — In a move sparking outrage among comedians and supporters of free expression, a prominent comedy club in Seattle has come under fire for canceling scheduled performances by four comedians, citing concerns about their misalignment with the neighborhood’s values.

Jim Florentine, one of the canceled comedians, expressed his dismay Monday during an interview on NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live.”

“Our agent booked us at this club. Tickets were selling, and then on Friday, we got this email that we were all canceled,” Florentine said.

The Capitol Hill Comedy Bar abruptly canceled shows featuring comedians Dave Smith, Luis Gomez, Jim Florentine and Kurt Metzger, all represented by the same agent. The cancellations, spanning from April to October, were met with confusion and frustration by the affected performers.

The email sent to the comedians cited “significant feedback expressing concerns about the alignment of these upcoming shows with the neighborhood’s ethos” and emphasized the club’s desire to maintain harmony within the community.

The comedy club is located in the CHAZ district of Seattle. CHAZ is an acronym for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, which became infamous in the height of the George Floyd protests when protesters there declared the city block area an autonomous region to approach social justice. They adopted the slogan “Free Capitol Hill,” providing a “safe space for demonstration and artistic expression.”

Florentine speculated that local comics may have influenced the decision, suggesting they labeled the East Coast comedians as “rough around the edges” and incompatible with the club’s atmosphere. This sentiment was echoed by comedians Chrissie Mayr and Keanu Thompson, who criticized the club’s prioritization of leftist opinions over comedy-loving audiences and talent.

Despite the setback, Florentine and his colleagues received overwhelming support and offers for new gigs. The Tacoma Comedy Club, located just 30 minutes south of Seattle, swiftly stepped in to book all four comedians, effectively replacing their canceled dates.


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