(Scroll down for video) A comedian was ordered to pay thousands of dollars to a disabled singer after suffering bullying following a show, according to court documents in Canada.
The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal has ordered Mike Ward to pay $42,000 after making fun of 19-year-old Jeremy Gabriel.
Ward was ordered to give Gabriel $25,000 in moral damages and $10,000 in punitive damages.
The court also required Ward to pay an additional $5,000 for moral damages and $2,000 for punitive damages to the singer’s mother, Sylvie Gabriel.
Ward vowed to appeal the ruling. Comedians were quick to support Ward, saying that he had the right to crack jokes. In defiance of the court ruling, Ward repeated the jokes he made about Gabrel during a Just For Laughs festival.
Gabriel became well known after he was flown to Rome, Italy, to sing for Pope Benedict. Gabriel has Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), a genetic condition that causes disfigurement.
During a show, Ward stated that he was happy Gabriel was getting attention as he had a terminal illness and will die.
Ward thought that Gabriel was flown to Rome, by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening diseases.
Ward then joked that for some reason, Gabriel did not die. He added that Gabriel was not dying, but he is very ugly. Gabriel told the court that Ward’s jokes about him was too harsh and affected his quality of life.
He claimed that it Ward hurt his career and confidence, and his jokes led to bullying at school. Gabriel also revealed that he attempted to commit suicide.