The Human Rights Tribunal continues to drag the name of human “rights”, taking ridiculous cases one after another. From taking a case (which was eventually dropped) against A&W from a woman who was offended by the labels of the “mama” “papa” and “teen” burgers, to awarding an OCD man $12,000 after a Baton Rouge put a lemon in his water. Some cases may seem justified, but some are just completely absurd.
The most recent is a case against comedian Mike Ward. Ward is ordered to pay $42,000 for making jokes about a child singer with disabilities. Montreal’s comedians and arts community is outraged at the “assault on freedom of expression” in the interest of political correctness. The comedian joked that he thought singer Jérémy Gabriel was a terminally-ill child, but later realized he was just “ugly” after he didn’t die following his beginning years of fame.
While the joke may have been in bad taste, that is what is to be expected of comedians. Everyone that is put into a public light is bound to be at the butt of some questionable humour, but is it too far when the butt of the joke is a disabled child.
Gabriel was 16 at the time of the 2010 comedy show that is in question. The now 19 year-old says the sketch led to bullying and caused him to think less of himself because he is handicapped. Gabriel suffers from Treacher-Collins syndrome.
Mike Ward plans to appeal the verdict an tweeted ‘Even Rocky lost the first one’ to his fans.
Do you think this was too far? Or is this case fighting the act of free speech?
Roy is joined by Montreal constitutional lawyer, and lawyer to Mike Ward, Julius Grey to discuss the case.