Talent agencies drop comedian Dane Baptiste over death threat to Jewish comic

The stand-up said on Instagram that the unnamed female performer should ask her husband and children ‘what their lives will be without you’


'I'll sit in prison while your family sit at the cemetery': Dane Baptiste apologised for a death threat he issued to a female comic (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

Multiple top UK talent agencies have dropped a stand-up after he told a Jewish comedian that he would be happy to go to prison for killing her.

Dane Baptiste, who starred in a BBC show and was nominated for an award at the Edinburgh Fringe, attacked an unnamed “Zionist comedian” on Instagram earlier this week.

Writing publically, he said he was threatening her because she had allegedly “stalked” a family member’s social media.

The Metropolitan Police are understood to be investigating Baptiste’s post.

“I want you to sit down with your husband and kids and imagine what their lives will be without you, [because] north London is a quick trip to make and a Think Tank will have to be an actual tank to keep you safe from me,” the 42-year-old wrote.

"Ask about and comedians will tell you I will be at your literal doorstep. Your agent won't keep you safe. And I'll sit in prison while your family sit at the cemetery First and last warning. Your act is dumb but don't be a dumb woman. For your own safety.”

Manchester based Gag Reflex Management and Insanity Group, who represent Baptiste’s work outside stand-up comedy, confirmed to the JC on Thursday that they had dropped the comic. 

In a statement, the former said: “Gag Reflex Management do not advocate or tolerate hate speech of any kind towards any groups or individuals.

“Since the company's inception we have always promoted equality, kindness and empathy within our industry and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

An Insanity Group spokesperson said: "Insanity became aware of a social media post published by Dane on Instagram yesterday. The contents of his post are completely at odds with our values and what we stand for.

"We promptly made this clear to him, and are no longer working with him. As an organisation we do not tolerate hate speech of any kind and are committed to the values of respect and tolerance for all."

Baptiste apologised “profusely” to the Jewish community, his colleagues and fans for his initial Instagram message.

He wrote: “In the recent past, I have received a number of threatening and abusive messages from accounts accusing me of antisemitism for having pro Palestinian views. I have a new family and my partner made me aware that some of these same people were monitoring her instagram account.

"In a massive error of judgement, I posted an excessive and impulsive response, hoping to dissuade anybody monitoring my family. I made a point to say Zionist and not Jewish, but I appreciate how disturbing, threatening and incendiary that language is, I would categorically state I have no ill intention towards the Jewish community and never have.

"I have a loving family of which I am massively protective of; I reacted poorly and emotionally to a perceived threat with no considered thought to the consequences.”

Comic Marcus Brigstocke condemned the threat, writing: “The threat made by Dane Baptiste against a woman on IG wasn’t vague and cannot be justified.

“It was targeted and dangerous. Driven (imo) by anti-Semitism and misogyny. I refuse to look the other way & stay silent while only Jewish friends speak up.”

David Baddiel wrote: “Please don’t bother to tell me he said Zionist. Sometimes that word implies a distinct belief system. And sometimes, including this time, it’s just a more acceptable way of saying Jew.”

Baptiste has been contacted for comment.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive