Russell Brand Cancels Middle Eastern Dates

LONDON (June 20, 2013)--British comedian Russell Brand says he has cancelled Middle Eastern dates on his upcoming tour after promoters said they couldn't guarantee his safety.

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

Brand says 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 he 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 on Dec. 9 in Reykjavik, Iceland.


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