A female audience member at a Daniel Tosh (host of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0) set took offense to a rape joke and in turn was humiliated beyond the call of duty.
A friend of the woman wrote in detail about the incident on her blog:
“I yelled out, ‘Actually, rape jokes are never funny!’ I did it because, even though being ‘disruptive’ is against my nature, I felt that sitting there and saying nothing, or leaving quietly, would have been against my values as a person and as a woman.
I don’t sit there while someone tells me how I should feel about something as profound and damaging as rape. 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…’”
I disagree with the heckler in two ways. First, I wouldn’t have blurted anything out, but that’s just my actual nature. Second, rape jokes can be funny.
Jokes about anything can be funny depending on the context and delivery. I say that as a woman who was heckled (with rape and laundry humor) on Xbox Live for years simply for not having enormous looming testicles that drag on the ground as I drink whiskey and throw cigarettes at stray dogs.
However, Daniel Tosh’s cowardly on-the-fly commentary was not funny in any way. He did it because the word “rape” is offensive and shocking but he added nothing to it. As a comedian, he delivered a BLT to the audience but forgot the bacon, lettuce and tomatoes.
Telling your bros to “get raped” or pwned during a friendly game of Gears Of War is one thing, using a woman’s natural sensitivity towards forced sex with multiple men against her is another.
On Tuesday, he took to Twitter for an apology, which was just as botched as his attempts to make us laugh. I will do the right thing as a member of the comically-inclined human race and continue boycotting him, as should you.