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Comedy troupe’s planned Island visit denounced in wake of Pickton t-shirts

Danger Cats have shows planned for Comox, Nanaimo and Victoria

K’ómoks First Nation has released a statement denouncing a performance by the controversial group Danger Cats scheduled for Thursday, May 30, at an undisclosed location in Comox.

The group was in the news in February when a scheduled performance at Rick Bronson’s House Of Comedy in New Westminster was cancelled due to backlash over t-shirts belittling the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton.

The shirts had the inscription “Pickton Farms: over 50 flavours for hookery smoked bacon.”

The following statement was posted on the Kómoks First Nation website on May 22, signed by all members of the Kómoks elected council.

“It has come to our attention that the Albertan group Danger Cats is scheduled to perform at an undisclosed venue in Comox on May 30. We are deeply offended by the actions and content promoted by Danger Cats, including their offensive material and merchandise that make light of the monstrous crimes committed by Robert Pickton against Indigenous women and other women who were his victims.

“In the spirit of solidarity, we join our voices with the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), municipal governments, and community members who have taken a principled stance against these events. We call upon everyone to take a stance against this event and to ensure that the Comox Valley does not become a platform for spreading such hate. Further, the FNLC urges host venues to cancel bookings of any performers who make light of gender-based violence and deepen harm towards victims and survivors.”

(Scroll to the bottom of this article for the press release in its entirety.)

According to the Danger Cats website, tickets are only available online, and the location will be given to ticket-holders on the day of the event.

The Comox Valley Regional District has also condemned the scheduled show.

“The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is opposed to any form of racism, misogyny, hate and discrimination within our community,” reads the CVRD statement. “We stand by the K’ómoks First Nation and the First Nations Leadership Council to condemn harmful content referencing the murder victims of a notorious serial killer, that is being promoted in the name of comedy.”

“Actions that perpetuate harmful ideologies are not welcome here,” said CVRD chair Will Cole-Hamilton. “Entertainers that visit our community must understand that presenting content which is anti-Indigenous, racist and makes light of gender-based violence constitutes hate speech and that will not be tolerated.”

The Pride Society of the Comox Valley has also issued a statement denouncing the performance, pointing out that the group also makes jokes about other issues that have traumatized local community members.

“The Pride Society of the Comox Valley stands firmly against any form of racism, hate, and discrimination within our community,” reads a press release. “Furthermore, we have learned that Danger Cats have also made jokes about residential schools, which is particularly disrespectful to the Indigenous people in our community, considering that we are situated on unceded K’omoks First Nation territory. Such jokes contribute to the perpetuation of harmful ideas that have no place in a community striving for inclusivity, respect, and safety for all.

“As an organization committed to promoting 2SLGBTQ+ rights and advocating for a more inclusive and respectful community, we cannot stay silent in the face of actions that undermine these values. We urge you to consider the impact of hosting performances or events that perpetuate harm and disrespect towards marginalized communities, and to take appropriate action to address these concerns.”

The Danger Cats also have shows scheduled for Nanaimo and Victoria, again in undisclosed locations.

2024 05 22 Danger Cats Medi... by CVRecord

Terry Farrell

About the Author: Terry Farrell

Terry returned to Black Press in 2014, after seven years at a daily publication in Alberta. He brings 24 years of editorial experience to Comox Valley Record...
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