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Opposition is growing in advance of a Vancouver performance by the controversial Alberta comedy group, Danger Cats, who have come under fire for selling t-shirts that make light of serial killer Robert Pickton’s crimes. The group is scheduled to perform in Vancouver, and protesters plan to gather at the event. Lorelai Williams, the cousin of one of Pickton’s victims, Tanya Holic, has organized the protest as a call to action. She argues that the t-shirts depicting Pickton holding bacon with the caption “Pickton Farms, over 50 flavours of hookery smoked bacon” constitute hate speech and should be treated as such. Williams believes that the Danger Cats have exposed the racist underbelly of the country, causing harm to the families of the victims.

Williams emphasizes that the t-shirts and the support for the comedy group have had a profound impact on the families of the victims. She states that family members are experiencing physical harm, seeking therapy, having nightmares, and struggling to sleep because of the insensitive material. Williams rejects the idea that the t-shirts were meant as a joke that missed the mark, asserting that no one in their right mind would find them humorous or appropriate. She stresses that the portrayal of Pickton as a joke is disrespectful and disgusting, diminishing the memory of the victims who lost their lives at his hands.

In response to the controversy, the Danger Cats defended their material in an Instagram post, claiming that their intention is to shed light on important issues and bring laughter to their audiences. They assert that comedians aim to make people laugh and improve the world, even when tackling dark subject matter. However, Williams strongly disagrees with their perspective and condemns the group for their lack of sensitivity and respect towards the victims and their families. The Danger Cats are facing backlash for their insensitivity and lack of empathy in addressing a subject as serious and tragic as the Robert Pickton case.

Robert Pickton, a notorious serial killer, was convicted in 2007 of six counts of second-degree murder for targeting vulnerable women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He is suspected of being connected to at least 49 murders, mostly sex workers, with additional charges in connection to 20 more killings being stayed by the Crown following his initial conviction. Protesters have revealed plans to demonstrate outside the Danger Cats show venue on East Georgia Street in response to the group’s controversial material. The ongoing opposition to the comedy group’s performance highlights the deep pain and trauma caused by their insensitive portrayal of a horrific and tragic chapter in Canadian history.

Amidst the growing controversy, Lorelai Williams is leading the charge in denouncing the Danger Cats and their offensive merchandise. She is calling on government officials and law enforcement to recognize the t-shirts as hate speech and take appropriate action against them. Williams is advocating for solidarity and support from all sectors of society to stand up against the harmful effects of such material on the families of the victims and the broader community. The protest organized by Williams serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of speaking out against hate speech, insensitivity, and exploitation of tragic events for entertainment purposes.

The criticism directed towards the Danger Cats serves as a stark reminder of the responsibility that comedians and entertainers have in addressing sensitive topics and respecting the dignity of those affected by tragedy. The controversy surrounding the group’s performance in Vancouver underscores the need for greater empathy, compassion, and awareness in the realm of comedy and entertainment. As the protest against the Danger Cats continues to gain momentum, it prompts a broader conversation about the boundaries of free speech, the impact of humor on sensitive topics, and the ethical considerations that should guide artistic expression in addressing serious and painful subjects. Ultimately, the opposition to the Danger Cats highlights the power of collective voices in standing up against insensitivity and advocating for greater respect and empathy in public discourse and entertainment.

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