A Catholic university in Chicago cut off the microphone of a comedian who made a joke about the clerical sexual abuse scandal on Mar. 17.
Hannibal Buress – a Chicago native – was performing at Loyola University’s Gentile Arena, as part of the Catholic institution’s Colossus show, an annual event sponsored by the school’s student-run Department of Programming.
The comedian made the joke early in his act, after projecting the terms of his contract on a screen. It forbade him from making jokes about rape, sexual assault, race, sexual orientation/gender, or illegal drugs.
He then said, “Y’all [expletive] kids, right?”
At that point, the university turned off Buress’s microphone.
— Bung (@bungtweet) March 18, 2018
“Loyola University Chicago cut the mic on Hannibal Buress’s performance Saturday, March 17, because he violated the mutually agreed upon content restriction clause in his contract,” the Jesuit university said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “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.”
The comedian returned to the show 15 minutes after the incident, and the rest of the performance was free of profanity – and controversy.
“I guess I can understand where Loyola — or whoever was controlling the mics — is coming from, because Hannibal did outright say he was going to violate the contract restrictions,” student Rachel Martin told the Loyola Phoenix. “[Loyola] said he couldn’t talk about race in his show, which seems highly restrictive, especially for a man who is known to incorporate his black identity into his performances. So, although I can see where Loyola is coming from, I think the situation could’ve been handled a lot better.”
The university also reportedly cut the microphone on DJ Tony Trimm, who opened the show by playing profanity-laced rap music.
I got about 15 minutes in my set before they cut me. Thanks Loyola. Saving the world one cuss at a time. pic.twitter.com/tdjv0IBVf3
— Asian Burt Reynolds (@TonyTrimm) March 18, 2018
“I got about 15 minutes into my set before they cut me. Thanks Loyola. Saving the world one cuss at a time,” he wrote on Twitter.
In 2014, Buress made headlines with a joke about sexual allegations against comedian Bill Cosby. A video of the routine went viral on social media, putting the spotlight on the allegations against Cosby.
Since then, Buress has appeared in the movie Spiderman: Homecoming and the television series Broad City.