The Supreme Court docket of Canada says comic Mike Ward’s feedback a few disabled singer didn’t quantity to discrimination below Quebec’s rights constitution.
In a 5-4 ruling as we speak, the excessive courtroom put aside a choice ordering Ward to pay damages for mocking Jeremy Gabriel, saying a discrimination declare should not grow to be a defamation motion.
The high-profile case pitted creative expression, within the type of darkish comedy, in opposition to the safety of 1’s dignity.
Gabriel, who has Treacher Collins syndrome — a congenital dysfunction characterised by cranium and facial deformities _ grew to become a celeb in Quebec after he sang with Celine Dion and for the Pope.
In his act, which took goal at well-known figures thought of past mockery, Ward joked he thought Gabriel’s sickness was terminal and folks have been solely good to him as a result of he would quickly die.
In 2016, Quebec’s human rights tribunal ordered Ward to pay $35,000 in ethical and punitive damages to Gabriel primarily based on remarks Ward made throughout exhibits between 2010 and 2013.
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