The Columbia Daily Spectator has reported that New York City-based standup comic Nimish Patel was cut off in the middle of his set while performing at cultureSHOCK: Reclaim—an event organised by the Asian American Alliance at Columbia—after members of AAA were offended by some of his jokes.
Patel is a regular at NYC’s Comedy Cellar, has previously written for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and the first Indian person to write for Saturday Night Live in 2017. Patel was headlining cultureSHOCK, and his name was prominently featured in the posters used to sell tickets for the event.
According to the paper, 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.’” This ticked off some of the organisers of cultureSHOCK—an event that “provides a platform for a diversity of Asian American artistic expression” and “seeks to breakthrough the stereotypes and challenges that our community faces.”
AAA members disrupted the set about 30 minutes in and condemned his jokes that dealt with issues of race and sexual identity. They then gave him time to issue closing remarks and end the set. The paper also reported that Patel’s mic was cut off before he could finish, forcing him to leave the stage without completing his set, or his remarks.