Comedian Jim Breuer cancels NJ show over vaccine ‘segregation’
Comedian Jim Breuer said he is canceling two shows on his “Freedom of Laughter” tour, including one in Montclair, because of venue polices requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test to attend.
"The Wellmont Theater in New Jersey. Not doing it," Breuer said in a Facebook video from his Florida home. Watch the full video below.
"Due to segregation of them forcing people to show up with proof of vaccination to prove that you've had a shot, I am absolutely not doing those shows. I know I’m going to sacrifice a lot of money, but I’m not going to be enslaved by the system, or by money, and nor should anyone who wants to laugh or be entertained," he said.
Breuer also canceled a show in Michigan. He also mentioned a show in his "hometown" of Morristown although none is listed on his website. He lives in Chester, which is also in Morris County.
A regular on "Saturday Night Live" from 1995-1998 and host of an MTV show, Breuer said he didn't care about anyone's vaccination status and it should not be a factor in coming to one of his shows.
He blamed Live Nation, which books shows for the Wellmont and other venues in New Jersey and nationwide, for holding venues, comedians, bands and other performers "hostage" by their vaccination policy.
"You can call it what you want, you're segregating. And that's where we're at," Breuer said. "If you try to segregate my audience or my following or any following I'm walking away. And I will play backyards. I will play venues that is not run by a monopoly that is shutting down and forcing these venues to do it. I'd rather go bankrupt and take a stance than segregate."
Breuer in his 20-minute video also took aim at unnamed celebrities who have made comments about people who have chosen not to take the COVID-19 vaccine calling them slaves to money and the government.
"Always remember this. You may be a big celebrity. You may be a huge name in the entertainment world. You may be one of the biggest sports stars in the world. But you know what? That doesn't mean you're moral, doesn't mean you're smart, doesn't mean you're a good person," Breuer said.
The Wellmont's shows are booked by Live Nation, which has implemented a vaccination or PCR test requirement. It also requires masks to be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking. His December 3 show was still on the Wellmont schedule as of Monday morning as well as his own website.
In an email on Monday afternoon Wellmont General Manager Anthony J. Morrison told New Jersey 101.5 the theater is aware of Breuer’s comments.
"while he may not agree with how we operate, our policy is put in place to protect the concertgoer, the artist, and the employees of the theater alike. We will have no further comment except to say we wish Mr. Breuer well and hope to see him at the Wellmont Theater down the road," Morrison said in an email.
Comedian Patton Oswalt had the opposite problem when he canceled four shows in Florida and Salt Lake City because the venues would not implement those requirements.
"I have an ego but it's not big enough to think people should die to see my stupid comedy," Oswalt said in a video on his Facebook page.