This is just ridiculous. Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, 26, has gone totally paranoid. Before you can see his comedy show, you now are required to sign a $1 million nondisclosure agreement before admission. That means you can’t take pics or videos. You can’t talk about it online or with anyone else for that matter. While he’s protecting himself and his reputation, does he realize he’s tanking his career? Getting no publicity at all is a death sentence in comedy.
One of his fans posted screenshots of the contract and detailed its demands on Facebook, according to Consequence of Sound. “I got an email today informing me that in order to see this show I have to sign a nondisclosure agreement,” the post said. “In that NDA the signer CANNOT GIVE ANY INTERVIEWS, OPINIONS OR CRITIQUES about it in ANY form whatsoever including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social networking.” I’m sorry, that’s fascist and I would not go see someone who did that.
“I didn’t want to sign it because it was basically saying that I wasn’t able to comment on it or have an opinion,” Young told Variety. “The most you could say is ‘no comment.’” After refusing to sign the NDA emailed to her from the venue, Young was given a full refund but there was no additional information as to why this was happening. “I called the box office and wondered if it was for a special, but they didn’t have any information.”
“I understand that comedians are protective of their material,” Young added. “But to not be allowed to express an opinion, whether I liked it or not, is off-putting in an Orwellian thought police way.” Yes, it is. Very much so.
From Fox News:
“The poster also claims that the contract gives Davidson’s team the right to confiscate, seize and destroy any phones or cameras that breach the agreement, and that any breach will require a $1 million payment in damages and legal fees.
“I understood and was willing to consent to the initial request of locking up any phones or cameras brought to the event, but I think this a bit ridiculous and over the top,” she said. “I get that comedians are protective of their jokes and don’t want their routines rebroadcast, but it’s rather Orwellian to not allow anyone to share an opinion on it. Don’t perform for the public if you don’t want people to have an opinion about it!”
“Consequence of Sound alleges that the NDAs have been employed by Davidson since at least November 7, when he performed in Minneapolis.
“Sources were able to confirm to Variety that Davidson intended to hand out the NDAs at a Chicago show on November 30, as well.
“The screenshots also say that any fans who don’t sign the NDA will not be granted admission, but will be given a full refund.”
— Savannah (@slamvan) November 9, 2019
Whatever happened to just going to a comedy club and having a few laughs? Then you tell your friends all about it. But no more.
Cell phone bans are nothing new in the world of modern-day live performances. In May, Louis C.K. banned the use of phones at his comedy shows while Dave Chappelle and Madonna have also prohibited fans from sharing live materials without written consent. But this takes censorship much, much further. In addition to the agreement, attendees were asked to put their phones and smartwatches in secure pouches for the duration of the show — a practice that is becoming more common.
Along with a signature, ticket holders were required to provide a cell phone number, email address, as well as Twitter and Instagram handles on the NDA. This is no longer a laughing matter to Davidson’s fans. This does not bode well for his career either.
Comedy’s heart is freedom of speech. It’s ironic that he would silence others so he can have his.