WEST JORDAN – A Utah comedian is speaking out about how and why he confronted a member of his audience who called out a racist slogan during one of his recent shows.
Jay Whittaker was 45 minutes into his comedy set at West Jordan’s Wiseguys when a woman, presumably drunk, shouted out the words, “white power.”
“Excuse me?” Whittaker responded. “Did you just yell ‘white power’ at me?”
Whittaker says that same woman said “white power” to him twice before that, but the crowd drowned her out.
He told the comedy club staff to stop giving her alcohol.
“We can cut her off,” Whittaker said from the stage on Saturday night. “She can enjoy the rest of the show, but she don’t need to drink anymore.
“There just happens to be a bunch of black people right on the left of me.”
On his Facebook page, Whittaker says someone once shouted “white power” when he was in high school, and then he got jumped.
Later, Whittaker said on his podcast, “The Incredibly Vocal Minority,” he had to respond then and there. (Warning: the podcast contains expletives.)
“She thinks [it might be] OK to say it to another black person at the show, and then something else could happen,” he said. “I handled it right there.
“Some people say I overreacted. Some people say I underreacted.”
Whittaker admitted he was very angry about the racial slur, especially since everyone went to Wiseguys to laugh.
He added it’s not his style to “unleash pure fury” on bad audience members.
The woman was booed, and some audience members told Whittaker afterward he acted appropriately.
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