Quebec singer Jérémy Gabriel exits social media following threats

Jérémy Gabriel says he is shutting down his social media after receiving hate messages and death threats. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

A Quebec singer embroiled in a legal battle with a Quebec comedian says he is shutting down his social media after receiving hate messages and death threats.

Jérémy Gabriel won a human rights case against comedian Mike Ward in 2016, arguing that a joke mocking his disability had amounted to discrimination.

READ MORE: Quebec comic Mike Ward in court defending joke about Jérémy Gabriel

Ward was in Quebec Appeal Court last week seeking to overturn the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal ruling that ordered him to pay $42,000 in damages to Gabriel and his mother.

In a message Monday before he closed his accounts to the public at midnight, Gabriel said he respects his critics but will never understand how so much hatred can be spread.

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WATCH: Mike Ward plans to appeal a ruling by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal (2016)

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Mike Ward appeals court ruling

Gabriel, 22, has Treacher Collins syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by skull and facial deformities. Known in Quebec as “Little Jérémy,” he became a minor celebrity in the province after he sang with Céline Dion and for the Pope.

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Between 2010 and 2013, Ward included a joke in his routine that made fun of Gabriel’s appearance. The tribunal concluded Ward’s joke violated Gabriel’s right to dignity, honour and reputation, as well as his right to equality and to be safe from discrimination.

READ MORE: Comedian Mike Ward says Hells Angels protected him after joke about missing girl

In his statement on Facebook, Gabriel says there is a “limit to what a human being can bear, and this limit was crossed in recent days.” The singer’s manager Jean Perruno said he did not know if Gabriel intends to file a police complaint.

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