Saturday Night Live writer and comedian Nimesh Patel was booted by students and pulled from the stage by event organizers after telling jokes that were criticized as racist and homophobic during his performance at cultureSHOCK: Reclaim, an event held by Columbia Asian American Alliance (AAA) on Friday night, according to a report in Columbia Daily Spectator.
Patel, 32, was the first Indian-American writer for SNL, and has since been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing, Daily Spectator said. Patel has previously performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers and opened for comedians such as Chris Rock
“During the event, Patel’s performance featured commentary on his experience living in a diverse area of New York City—including a joke about a gay, black man in his neighborhood—which AAA officials deemed inappropriate,” Daily Spectator said. “Patel joked that being gay cannot be a choice because “no one looks in the mirror and thinks, ‘this black thing is too easy, let me just add another thing to it.’”
The report added: About 30 minutes into Patel’s set, members of AAA interrupted the performance, denounced his jokes about racial identities and sexual orientation, and provided him with a few moments for closing remarks. Compared to his other jokes, ones specifically targeting sexual orientation audibly receive less laughter from the crowd.
“Patel pushed back on the officials’ remarks, and said that while he stood in solidarity with Asian American identities, none of his remarks were offensive, and he was exposing the audience to ideas that would be found “in the real world.” Before he could finish, Patel’s microphone was cut from off-stage, and he proceeded to leave,” Daily Spector said. “In an official statement released on Dec. 3, AAA stated that while they acknowledge that discomfort and safety can co-exist, the discomfort Patel caused with his remarks and overall performance opposed AAA and cultureSHOCK’s mission to celebrate, empower, and explore identity in a safe space. They apologized for inviting him to perform at the event.”