Marketing ploy for comedian with muscular dystrophy gets her friend arrested

Any working comedian will tell you, that no matter how much he or she hates to do it, self promotion is a necessary evil. And with so many performers hitting up social media, sometimes it’s difficult or nearly impossible to be heard over all the chatter. Well, Kentucky-based comedian Ally Bruener came up with a marketing ploy that is, indeed, unique, but may land a friend of hers in jail.

Bruener has muscular dystrophy and is in a wheel chair because of it; and she’s using that as a marketing “hook,” if you will. Her friend Forest Thomer was arrested for disorderly conduct in Cincinnati after asking multiple people at a public event if they wanted to “laugh at the crippled girl.” A quick glance at Bruener’s website shows that the question is part of a larger marketing charge, as its emblazoned on T-shirts, which you can purchase for $15. Bruener also refers to herself as “The Crip.”

The point is, it’s pretty fucking obvious there was no malice behind Thomer’s words. However, the complaint mentions that Thomer was asked to stop his behavior but “persisted in yelling and shouting, causing annoyance and alarm to others.” And, naturally, Thomer denies this, saying, “We were just going up to people and asking the question. You can’t just arrest people or have them arrested just because you don’t like what they are saying,” Apparently, you could– especially in conservative-leaning Cincinnati.

The city claims the arrest occurred because Thomer acted against established policy. “We don’t allow anyone to conduct marketing at our events without prior authorization or take video of our guests for commercial purposes without their approval,” Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber spokesman Chris Kemper said, according to the Associated Press.

So, what now? Well, Thomer is in court today to defend himself against the fourth degree misdemeanor charge. If convicted, he faces up to 30 days in jail. Yay, justice?

Want to know more about “The Crip?” Check out the video below:

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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