British comedian and actor Russell Brand had been booked to perform in United Arab Emirates and Lebanon on his ‘Messiah Complex’ world tour, but those gigs have now been cancelled because of threats from religious groups.
“I was told that if I went there there would be problems,” Russell Brand told Radio 5live: “The venue contacted us and said we can no longer guarantee your safety.”
For the English comedian, actor, and author Russell Edward Brand, 38, it is routine to deal with figures such as Malcolm X, Gandhi and Jesus, and he is noted in the British media for his eccentricity and for controversies.
Brand told Radio 5live that the nature of the comedy material led to “fundamentalists” threatening to cause trouble at the venues.
He also believed the promotional poster for the tour might have played its part in the cancellations.
“The image by the brilliant artist Shepard Fairey depicts me as looking a little Christ-like….so there’s an indication that it might be offensive,” the BBC News quoted him as saying.
The tour was due to open in Abu Dhabi in August but it will now skip the Middle East and go to the US, Canada and South Africa as well as European venues.
BBC News – 9 June 2013:
Russell Brand cancels Middle East gigs
Russell Brand has scrapped a number of dates in the Middle East after being told his safety could not be guaranteed.
Wikipedia, the open encyclopedia – Russel Brand profile: