Updated | Comedian Hannibal Buress learned the hard way that the Roman Catholic Church doesn't appreciate jokes about their history of sexual assault. On Saturday night, the stand-up was performing at Loyola University-Chicago, a Jesuit Catholic school, when his set was abruptly cut short. According to the school's paper, the Loyola Phoenix, Buress's mic was cut after the comedian joked about child abuse five minutes into the show.
The 35-year-old performer, known for his roles on Broad City and The Eric Andre Show, opened his set by reviewing an email the university sent him that banned him from including anything in his set regarding rape, sexual assault, race or sexual orientation. (Apparently, Loyola isn't familiar with Buress's famed Bill Cosby bit.) Based on tweets from attendees at the show, the comedian projected the email on a screen to ridicule it.
Buress, who is known talking about race in his material, reportedly asked the college: "Y'all fuck kids, right?"
Buress attempted to continue his set without a microphone, but the background music was increased to drown the comedian out, said attendees. Buress left the stage for 15 minutes, then returned to finish his set, making jokes about the censorship for the rest of the night. In a now-deleted tweet, Buress vented his thoughts on Twitter, writing, "Weird way to celebrate sweet 16," referencing the college's recent March Madness win. When he returned, Buress told the crowd he had been planning to follow the restrictive guidelines until he saw he'd already been paid.
Buress, who is from Chicago, frequently tackles race in his profanity-laden sets. Students at Loyola were clearly frustrated by the decision to censor the comedian, and took to Twitter to complain.
"Sorry about bureaucratic shit @hannibalburess but thx for like 5 mins," wrote one user.
"Nice one Loyola, when the spotlight is on us for the NCAA Tournament and we’re trending #1 on Twitter, you hide behind the Catholic identity rather than using it to give everyone a platform," said another.
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In a statement provided to Newsweek, a Loyola University-Chicago spokesperson stood by the decision to cut the mic on Buress, "because he violated the mutually agreed upon content restriction clause in his contract." The statement continued, "It is standard for the University to include a content restriction clause in entertainment contracts; Buress is the only entertainer to disregard the clause to the degree that his mic was cut. Buress eventually returned to the stage and completed his set."
Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from Loyola University-Chicago.
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