Supreme Court rules Quebec comedian did not discriminate in mocking disabled singer

Comedian Mike Ward

Comedian Mike Ward’s mocking of disabled singer Jeremy Gabriel did not violate Quebec’s charter of rights in terms of discrimination, the Supreme Court of Canada decided in a 5-4 ruling Friday.

Gabriel has Treacher Collins syndrome, which results in skull and facial deformities. He became famous for singing with Celine Dion and for the Pope.

Ward had joked between 2010 and 2013 that he thought the singer was dying, and that this was the reason for his fame and accolades.

The judgment overturns a previous appeals court ruling ordering Ward, who specializes in shock comedy, to pay $35,000 in moral and punitive damages to the singer. The court decided that a claim of discrimination must not become a defamation case.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.