On comedians and rape not being funny
This is the first time I am hearing of Daniel Tosh. Apparently he’s a comedian, and a well known one at that. All good, I say.
Today, I came across a controversy where, during one of his shows in a club, he continuously made jokes about rape. He started with general statements in support of rape jokes saying “they are always funny”, “rape his hilarious” etc . A girl, who happened to be at the show wrote a blog post about her experience and what happened while she was there.
An excerpt from her blog post:
So Tosh then starts making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc. I don’t know why he was so repetitive about it but I felt provoked because I, for one, DON’T find them funny and never have. So I didnt appreciate Daniel Tosh (or anyone!) telling me I should find them funny. So I yelled out, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!”
And what has stunned me the most is what he did in response. Again quoting from the blog post, written in first person:
After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”
Did you read that? Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by 5 guys right now. Seriously?
Following the controversy, I see a lot of side issues, people defending the comedian saying “heckling” is a crime and if she disrupted his act, she asked for it. There are others who think she was absolutely right in doing so (Thank God) and more who think that for comedians nothing is taboo, and they can make a joke about anything from laughing over old people, to babies, to racism. There are still more who think this is Tosh’s style of humour so if you don’t like it, you stay away.
First of all, it disturbs me that anyone can find in their heart to laugh over a rape joke. I say it again and again, rape and joke don’t go together. Rape and laugh don’t go together. No matter what the context, rape is not a fun subject to build jokes around.
Well, for a moment, let me keep aside the context and my personal feelings regarding rape jokes. Let me go with the assumption that may be in this world there is an audience for such crap and comedians get popular by cracking “jokes” about rape, AND that in general “heckling” in the middle of a show is wrong, no matter what.
While I am digesting that, can some one please tell me what sort of a justified punishment for heckling is that a celebrity targets one girl and says it would be funny if she got raped by 5 guys right now?
How is THAT in any way acceptable? Here we are, getting up in arms about rape jokes not being funny in any context, and this man targets one particular victim and says such things? And he gets away with it?
And here’s his half-hearted apology on twitter :
“All out of context misquotes aside, I’d like to sincerely apologize,” he began, linking up to the aforementioned blog. “The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them #deadbabies.”
Lame. There were people defending him saying it’ his “style” to be outrageous and shocking …yada yada…
If this is what it means to have a sense of humour, well, sorry to say, I am completely lacking one.
PS: The comments in the linked up article are even more depressing.