First there’s Ken O’Keefe speaking in Toronto tomorrow, and now French “comedian” Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is playing Montreal in May:
The comedian, who routinely makes jokes about gas chambers and has denied the holocaust publicly, was found guilty last year in France of condoning terrorism after posting a joke on his Facebook page about the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
Espace Mushagalusa, a small art gallery in downtown Montreal, has booked Dieudonné to play ten shows in a room that accommodates 200 people from May 11 to 16.
Gallery owner Mushagalusa Chigoho told CBC the shows sold out quickly, despite little publicity.
Chigoho said he was aware that Dieudonné is controversial, and so he asked to review the script of this particular show before agreeing to the booking.
“There was nothing insulting, nothing degrading, nothing racist. I can’t be responsible for what he’s said in the past,” Chigoho said.
Dieudonné has several previous convictions under hate speech laws in France and Belgium. He has been widely criticized in Quebec and has seen previous runs of shows booked here cancelled due to his controversial remarks.
We’re not obligated to let human garbage into our country, so the federal government would be justified in denying entry to Dieudonné (or O’Keefe, for that matter). But I think it would be a better idea to let him in and see which Canadians are willing to pay money to watch him perform.