Russian-born comedian Konstantin Kisin, now residing in the UK, pulled out of a charity gig scheduled to take place at a London University after he was asked to sign the so-dubbed “behavioural agreement form” so as “to avoid problems”. The form essentially demanded that he abstain from cracking jokes that were not “respectful and kind”.
Kisin made a post on Twitter, attaching the screenshot of the rules in question, which read the following:
"By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism".
The comedian said below the image that the terms of the “contract” “nearly made me puke”. He spoke out against such prescriptions, with The Evening Standard quoting him as saying that the "only people who should be controlling what comedians say are comedians". “This is a threat to freedom of speech”, he stated in a resolute tone.
UNICEF on Campus at SOAS issued a statement in response, saying that they are “a student society with the goal of fundraising for UNICEF; we do not represent UNICEF UK or any student body”, adding that they regret the aim having been “misrepresented”. "We would never impose that guests would have to agree to anything they do not believe in”, the statement concluded.
The comedian was among four scheduled to perform at a fundraising event by UNICEF on the campus at SOAS, part of the University of London, scheduled for January 23, the Mail Online reported.