Entertainment

Comedian Forced to Cancel Shows in Middle East Because Venues Could Not Guarantee His Safety

Brand has said the tour focuses on icons including Che Guevara, Gandhi, Malcolm X and Jesus.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02: Comedian Russell Brand speaks during the 'Meditation In Education' Global Outreach Campaign at The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum on April 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Getty Images

LONDON (AP) -- British comedian Russell Brand says he has cancelled Middle Eastern dates on his forthcoming tour after promoters said they couldn't guarantee his safety.

Brand had planned to take his "Messiah Complex" tour to Abu Dhabi and Lebanon.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02: Comedian Russell Brand speaks during the 'Meditation In Education' Global Outreach Campaign at The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum on April 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Getty Images

Brand has said the tour focuses on icons including Che Guevara, Gandhi, Malcolm X and Jesus, and examines "the importance of heroes in this age of atheistic disposability."

But Brand told BBC radio Thursday that the Mideast venues "contacted us to say we can no longer guarantee your safety."

Brand said he thought organizers were wary of the sensitive topic and the poster, which "does depict me looking a little bit Christ-like" and wearing corporate and religious insignia.

The tour starts June 12 in Chicago and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Dec. 9.

One last thing…
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