In Canada, the St. Catharine's anti-racism advisory committee is asking city council to cancel Jeff Dunham's comedy show at the Meridian Centre in November — but officials at the city-owned venue have not yet announced their plans. Jeff Dunham is an American comedian best known for his ventriloquism. He gained global popularity in the 2000s but has also faced criticism in the past for portraying characters that rely on racial stereotypes. Some of the characters on his current tour include a dead terrorist named Achmed and a "totally legal" jalapeno on a stick named Jose. He's set to make a stop at the Meridian Centre on Nov. 20. Dunham's team didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Saleh Waziruddin, chair of the anti-racism advisory committee, told CBC Hamilton comedy that relies on racism isn't funny. "What people need to understand is there's a lot of harm caused by these kinds of so called "comedy,"" he said. "Other people will hear it and think it's OK to be racist and misogynist and homophobic."
Waziruddin said Dunham's show coming to the city is bad timing, especially given recent hate crimes and incidents, like a string of racist and homophobic graffiti near the downtown core.
Councilwoman Porter said she was "literally shocked" to see Dunham would be coming to the city and allowing him to perform is "poor decision making."
"I worry about people who work at the Meridian Centre who, for example, are Muslim and they're going to have to sit through an Achmed the terrorist show and where's the thought behind that? I'm struggling with it," she said.
Dunham has been in Savannah several times including a concert at the Lucas Theatre which was recorded for Comedy Central.