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Time to censor comedy routines on cruise ships?

Written by Nick Blenkey

microphoneAUGUST 23, 2012—Cruise lines may have to start censoring on-board comedy routines. At least two passengers who say they were targets of jokes have gone to court looking for damages.

The Guardian reports that an Irish man who brought a civil claim against Carnival in a U.K court has won an out-of-court settlement.

John Wolfe, 74, a retired builder from Dublin, complained to P&O after he and his wife Joan sailed on a worldwide cruise on the Oriana five years ago when, he claimed, two comedians entertained passengers by telling a series of Irish jokes in their routines. The Guardian says he found the jokes deeply offensive and left him feeling humiliated.

After allegedly receiving reassurances that such jokes would be banned and they were given £1,000 of vouchers, the Wolfes “were surprised and upset to hear similar jokes when they took another P&O cruise in 2008 to the Caribbean on board the Artemis,” reports the Guardian.

Wolfe brought a civil claim against Carnival Plc – the owners of P&O – under race relations legislation as well as the European Union’s race directive. The case was due to be heard at the Manchester Civil Justice center, but was settled out of court, reportedly for a five-figure sum. The Guardian says that Wolfe’s claim that he had been a victim of racial discrimination was struck out by the court.

On the other side of the world, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald reports that a female passenger is suing P&O Cruises for sexual harassment over comments a crew member made to her on the Pacific Jewel.

The Morning Herald says that Kate Strahan alleges a crew member serving as a judge during a singing competition on the ship told her he could see her underwear through her dress while she sang on stage, commented on her breasts and suggested she could “cougar” him any time. He also allegedly made inappropriate gestures toward an image of her projected on a screen.

The newspaper reports that Ms. Strahan’s husband has said the incident caused her so much stress she had to stop working. She is now asking for more than $1 million in damages.

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