More and more comedians are coming out of the woodwork to defend their colleague Daniel Tosh for his defense of rape jokes. For those of you who missed the controversy , a woman who saw Tosh at the Laugh Factory reported that the comedian made “some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc.” The woman yelled out, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!” So, Tosh responded by saying, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…?”
As the story circulated, Tosh issued a non-apology, which the media has pretended is an apology, and many comedians have tweeted shrilly in his defense. Jim Norton tweeted, “People should be vocally supporting @DanielTosh.” And he stumped Tosh critics with this thought-provoking question: “Why is ok for an actor to play a rapist, but not for a comic to joke about it?” My brain hurts just thinking about it. As you read this, I’m scratching my head. The always-philosophical Dane Cook waxed poetic on the matter, tweeting, “If you journey through this life easily offended by other people’s words I think it’s best for everyone if you just kill yourself.” Totally… and, FYI, life is a journey, not a destination. Patton Oswolt wrote, “Wow, Daniel Tosh had to apologize to a self-aggrandizing, idiotic blogger. Hope I never have to do that [again].” And Louis C.K. tweeted, “@danieltosh your show makes me laugh every time I watch it. And you have pretty eyes.” The Huffington Post has a slide show of comedians defending Tosh, if you want to read more.
But what about comedians who are critical of rape jokes and rape culture in general? The good news is that they are taking to Twitter too. And here are some of the things they have to say. You’ll notice that the humorous ones are funnier and the serious ones are smarter than the tweets in defense of Tosh.
From Lindy West From Lizz WinsteadFrom Nato GreenFrom Kamau BellFrom Hari KondaboluFrom Molly KnefelFrom Jamie KilsteinFrom Bonnie McFarlaneFrom Meghan O’KeefeFrom Katie Halper (full disclosure: the author of this is Katie Halper. At least she claims to be.)