Refuse to host sexist comedian Dapper Laughs at your venue
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O2 Academy Leeds is one of my favourite venues. I've seen many brilliant acts and never had a bad night out there. That's why I'm extremely disappointed and angry about their decision to have noted misogynist Dapper Laughs play at their venue, on the 18th February 2015.
This man has become famous for harassing, demeaning and objectifying women. His material is nothing short of sexist (his actions on his YouTube videos are borderline criminal acts). It is not hyperbole to say his comedy normalises and feeds in to the 'lad culture' that is responsible for thousands of incidents of harassment and sexual assaults (under the banner of 'banter' and 'ironic' sexism) in universities, nightclubs, work places and high streets all over the country.
It isn't that I simply find him distasteful or offensive, or controversial - these aren't reasons to stop someone playing a venue on their own and I wholeheartedly support freedom of speech. The issue is that it is actively irresponsible and potentially damaging to the wider community (not to mention the venue's reputation) for O2 Academy and Academy Music Group to support an act who has such a track record and is such a detrimental influence to young people - mainly young men whose ideas about how to treat women are still forming. Below are a couple of articles which explain the problem with this man better than I ever could:
Huffington Post: http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/5959094
The fact that it is an over 18s only show does NOT make his appearance ok. There's no age limit for people to be affected by this material. It is also potentially extremely triggering for survivors of sexual assault, harassment and abuse who (more than likely) will be in the audience.
Is it really worth hosting someone who treats women like this, and encourages other men to do the same in their everyday interactions with women and girls? If he was treating people of colour, Muslim people or disabled people the same way would you still have him on? I very much doubt it (and rightly so). Dapper Laughs is the Bernard Manning of sexist comedy, and the message needs to be sent that his misogyny is not welcome in our amazing and diverse city.
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