For the first time, Nimesh Patel is publicly commenting since being kicked off the stage by the Asian American student groups that invited him to perform at Columbia University earlier this month.
Patel made his comments in an essay in the New York Times. Here’s some of what he wrote:
“I walked offstage, silent and angry. I was in shock. On the car ride down to another show, every cliché about college kids today was churning through my mind: Are these college students really this soft? What has become of the coddled mind! Everyone’s so easily offended! Jerry Seinfeld was right when he said a few years ago that college kids “don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.
If you been following this, you know what got Patel in trouble. It was a joke, that bombed, about gay Black men now choosing to be gay because “
no one would choose to be gay if they’re already black. No one is doubling down on hardship.”
Here’s what happened shortly after. Three members of the Columbia Asian American Alliance interrupted Patel on stage and asked him to leave. A video has been posted on You Tube of that moment.
Patel, not surprisingly, thinks the students made a mistake and says since then, he received numerous messages of support from other students who agree with him.
“When you silence someone you don’t agree with or find offensive, not only do you implement the tactic used by the people you disdain; you also do yourself the disservice of missing out on a potentially meaningful conversation. You cannot affect change if you are not challenged.”
Patel’s troubles have not ended with the Columbia performance. Page Six reports Comedy Central cut his bit on This Week at the Comedy Cellar.
During his recorded bit, he performed the same joke that got him in trouble at Columbia. He then went on to give his side of what happened at Columbia. Comedy Central elected not to air that on the program.
“Sometimes material doesn’t hit,” said an insider to Page Six. “We want laughs. We don’t want a discourse on the issue of censorship on college campuses.”
The producers of the Comedy Cellar have 12-14 hours of footage to choose from for their program. Perhaps, cutting that part from the program isn’t that surprising.
If you’ve never seen Patel perform, here’s his stand up from an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
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