White Guys Matter

Backlash against White Guys Matter comedy show in Toronto

Four white men are scheduled to take the stage at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto this evening to "Make Comedy Great Again," as they put it (or rather, as Donald Trump once put it.)

The "White Guys Matter" show, produced by U.S. stand-up comedian Kevin Brennan, bills itself as an XXX-rated event with "all white guys" and "no safe spaces."

Acclaimed Canadian comics Alan Park, Peter Anthony, Darren Frost and Aaron Berg will take on subjects like race, religion, sexuality and "anything else your Prime Minister deems unworthy of humour" as part of the show, which – unless dissenters have their way – kicks off at the Richmond Street comedy club around 8 p.m. tonight.

As should be blaringly obvious to everyone who's consumed any type of media over the past two years, the existence of this show is proving controversial.

"Hey check it out! WHITE GUYS MATTER/ARE PATHETIC COMEDY SHOW HAPPENING TOMORROW NIGHT AT TORONTO YUK YUKS/HELL," wrote local comedian Jess Beaulieu on Facebook Tuesday afternoon with screenshots of the show's flyer.

"They're SEASONED misogynists taking on such subjects as: entitled baby men, extreme male privilege, and bad comedy... Let's Make Comedy Offensive Again!"

More than 100 people have commented on Beaulieu's post to share similar thoughts over the past 24 hours, while dozens more on Twitter are calling upon Yuk Yuk's to cancel what they see as an insensitive event.

"I understand that Yuk Yuk's has pushed boundaries with their comedy, however, 'White Guys Matter Show' has gone too far," wrote one critic in an email to blogTO.

"It invalidates the fact that male privilege, white supremacy, and the patriarchy are problematic for women and people of colour. As a Trans person of colour, I find this highly offensive."

Yuk Yuk's did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it's of note that the venue hasn't mentioned the name of this show anywhere in promotional materials outside of its own website.

A few of the comedians on the bill have addressed the backlash (or expected backlash) on their own personal Twitter feeds however.

"I'm on this show tomorrow night," wrote Anthony, who lives in Toronto. "It's satire, guys. So calm down. Please. Calm down."

Some fans of comics like Berg are loving the concept and expressing full support, but backlash against the White Guys Matter show continues to grow ahead of Wednesday night.

"Hey Yuk Yuk's you're garbage for booking this, garbage for ignoring the press about it, and garbage for hosting regardless of public outcry," wrote the Toronto-based feminist film and panel series Bechdel Tested on Twitter.

"Garbage + garbage + garbage = garbage! No yuks, just yucky! Racism + sexism aren’t funny!"

Lead photo by

Jae Yang


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