Dane Baptiste dropped by agent after misogynist death threat

ExclusiveThursday 2nd May 2024, 2:09pm

Dane Baptiste. Copyright: Steve Ullathorne
  • Dane Baptiste has been dropped by his agency, Gag Reflex
  • The move follows his posting a public death threat targeted at a female, Jewish stand-up
  • The event follows his outspoken anti-Israeli views regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza

Comedian Dane Baptiste has today been dropped by his agent, Gag Reflex, after issuing a death threat to a female comic.

The Manchester-based agency had only signed Baptiste in January, and are refusing to comment directly, but say they "do not tolerate hate speech of any kind" and have begun wiping the internet of any references and links between themselves and the now-disgraced comic.

It comes after he issued a public death threat to an unnamed female Jewish comedian last night, accusing her of "stalking" his family's social media accounts.

British Comedy Guide has been asked not to reveal the identity of his victim, but has been told she had merely looked at an Instagram post publicly shared by Baptiste's girlfriend.

He went on to write, in a now-deleted post of his own: "A quick message to the Zionist comedian stalking my family's page. I want you to sit down with your husband and kids and imagine what their lives will be without you, b/c 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. 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. [sic]"

The furore comes against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Gaza between the Israeli military and a terrorist group, Hamas, which controls the Palestinian territory. Baptiste has long been outspoken on social and political issues on social media, and has engaged in heavy criticism of Israel, which was attacked on 7th October 2023 by the terror organisation. Its response has spiralled into what many see as a wider and unproportionate conflict.

His now-former agents, Gag Reflex declined to comment when approached by British Comedy Guide, but have shared an indirect statement via their social media channels this afternoon, stating: "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."

Dane Baptiste. Copyright: Steve Ullathorne

Baptiste himself addressed the issue this afternoon, sharing a longer explanation of events on Instagram.

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 [sic] 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, and I apologise profusely for my actions to the Jewish community, my colleagues and my fans."

He did not address the death threat directly, nor apologise to his victim. The muddling of Judaism and Jewishness with Israel and Zionism is widely-recognised as an antisemitic trope. The Metropolitan Police are understood to be investigating the incident.

Baptiste has previously appeared on channels as diverse as BBC Three, BBC Radio 4, GB News, ITV and ITV2. His live show The Chocolate Chip was published for free on YouTube last summer.

Insanity Group, which represented Baptiste for work outside stand-up comedy, also dropped him from its roster today.

Share this page