OPEN LETTER TO STAND UP COMEDIAN JUSTIN MOORHOUSE
On October 2nd 2015, I attended the Wrexham leg of your Destiny Calling tour at the Catrin Finch Centre at Glyndwr University and am writing to provide feedback about my experience.
On the whole it was a very funny show that was ably performed by both yourself and your support act for the evening was also a promising talent.
I appreciate that comedy is all about the fine line between the acceptable and the unacceptable, but I’m afraid to say that you strayed into unacceptable territory on more than one occasion and caused me great offence and embarrassment.
As you might have guessed I was the wheelchair user sitting on the front row of the audience at the Catrin Finch Centre. The evening began well as you included me in the show by mentioning my tank top and then inviting an amused member of the crowd to laugh at me after he dared to laugh at mention of your callipers. I found this to be inclusive as the audience were laughing with us against the rogue audience member who should have timed his laugh a little more wisely.
However, later in the show you made a joke that I felt was directly against me and caused the whole audience to laugh at me. It was when you said that you had had a hip operation because you didn’t want to ‘let yourself go’ as much as me. I have a progressive disability known as Friedreich’s Ataxia, which is a genetic disease of the nervous system. It is a constant struggle to fit in to mainstream society and such comments only serve to underline my superficial differences and increase such struggles.
You also asked if the beautiful blonde female that was sitting next to me was my carer – thereby implying that I couldn’t be with a girlfriend/partner due to my disability. You wouldn’t have questioned other couples as to the nature of their relationship and my friend did not feel comfortable answering such an intrusive question.
I have written this email to try to alert you to the importance of the language and attitudes used in relation to disabled people in order that you are more cautious in future.
Good luck with the remainder of the tour.
Nathan Lee Davies