Filmmaker Michael Moore’s biting satire has Brits biting back in London after he mocked Sept. 11 passengers as “scaredy cats” and then publicly berated theater staff as “conmen,” according to press reports.
Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown writes in the London newspaper The Independent that she took her son to Moore’s one-man comedy act “Michael Moore – Live!” at the Roundhouse theater in Camden, North London, and became so “enraged” she almost walked out.
“Moore went into a rant about how the passengers on the Sept. 11 planes were scaredy cats because they were mostly white,” Alibhai-Brown writes. “If the passengers had included black men, he claimed, those killers, with their puny bodies and unimpressive small knives, would have been crushed by the dudes, who as we all know take no disrespect from anybody.”
“God save us from such stupid white men,” comments Alibhai-Brown in a reference to Moore’s best-selling book, “Stupid White Men,” and then accused the “Bowling for Columbine” creator of being insensitive toward the increasing violence, lawlessness and racism plaguing the city’s black community.
Although known for provocative and unapologetic social commentary, Moore wound up apologizing on stage for unscripted comments he made about the theater itself, reports IMDb.com, an entertainment industry website.
After performing to packed audiences for two months, according to IMDb.com, Moore “reportedly flew into a rage” on the second to last night of the engagement and “verbally attacked everyone associated with the theatre because he thought he wasn’t being paid enough.”
“He stormed around all day screaming at everyone, even the ?5-an-hour bar staff, telling them how we were all conmen and useless. Then he went on stage and did it in public,” IMDb quotes a member of the stage crew as saying, adding Moore complained during the performance he was making just $750 a night.
In retaliation, the staff refused to work the following night until Moore offered an apology an hour after the show was due to begin.
IMDb reports Moore then abruptly packed his bags and returned to New York the next day without saying “thank you” or “goodbye” to anyone.
The baseball cap-wearing commentator has courted controversy before. According to IMDb’s biography, Moore was arrested during filming of the video “Sleep Now in the Fire.”