Just for Laughs Group | “I’m stunned,” says Luce Rozon

Joined by The Press Tuesday afternoon, Luce Rozon, the sister of the founder of Just for Laughs, Gilbert Rozon, is saddened by the announcement of the placement under creditor protection by the Just for Laughs Group and the cancellation of the next edition of the Festival .

“It’s a great loss for Quebec. Hearing the news Tuesday morning in The Press, I had a huge shock, she said. Not just on a personal level, as a Quebecer too. After the sale of Cirque du Soleil, it’s another Quebec flagship that we’re letting go,” says the woman who worked for 30 years for the festival and JPR’s indoor productions.

Mme Rozon remembers that the Festival and its English-speaking component have attracted thousands of artists and comedians from around the world over 40 years. And big names, like Jim Carrey and Jerry Seinfeld, who were featured in the first Just for Laughs galas in Montreal.

I’m not cynical. I am sad, because I cannot explain what happened to arrive at the decision to cease all activities.

Luce Rozon

Luce Rozon does not believe the reasons given to explain the difficulties of Just for Laughs. The senior management press release cites, among other things, the pandemic and the strong inflationary surge that followed: “I have a production company and I got through the crisis without any subsidies,” says the one who launched in 2018, with her sister Lucie Rozon, Les Agents Doubles (Slava Snow Show, The Night of Depression, To great evils, great speeches…).


Sisters Lucie (right) and Luce Rozo at the time when they worked at the festival and the Just for Laughs Group shows.

No more pilots on board

Luce Rozon does not want to blame the current partners at the helm of the company since 2018 (promoter evenko, Bell Media and Creative Artists Agency). However, she believes that the soul of Just for Laughs was killed. “All the organs of the company were functioning, but there was no more heart,” she illustrates, referring to her brother and former boss of JPR, who is still the subject of civil proceedings.

“At the time, there was a pilot, a master on board. Gilbert inspired an entire seasoned team and instilled audacity and creativity into the Just for Laughs Group. He imagined a family and unifying festival. There were around a hundred of us and we all worked together in the same direction. »

On whether the allegations and victims’ testimonies against his brother have forever tainted the brand, Mme Rozon is more sparing with comments: “Gilbert was exonerated of all (criminal) charges. I support him and I will always support him 100%.”

Luce Rozon did not call her brother today. She specifies that although her family is devastated, she is especially saddened for all the people who are losing their jobs. “It’s definitely difficult to see it die. But the family has been grieving for years now. »

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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