Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Louis CK explains he wasn’t defending Tosh’s rape joke

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Here’s a bit of good news for those who’ve been paying any attention to the “Daniel Tosh made a terrible rape joke and the Internet kinda blew up over it” affair (henceforth referred to as ToshGate). One of the more galling aspects of the debacle was how several prominent comedians immediately rushed to the aid of their stinging comrade with excuses that varied from merely egregious to the outright sociopathic. There is one bit of relief, though, as one of the first and most prominent apparent defenders of Tosh’s sick attempt at humor, Louis CK, went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night and explained that he was not, in fact, defending Tosh’s remark, nor was he even aware of it at the time:

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Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

(Trimmed for brevity.)

JON STEWART: You got in hot water over the …

LOUIS CK: Well, I had this weird thing that happened this week. I was on vacation, I was in Vermont, being in the green of America.

STEWART: Were you teaching them how to get sap out of trees in an easier way?

LOUIS CK: That’s right. And so, I was in Vermont and I was watching TV in a hotel room, and Daniel Tosh’s show comes on, Tosh.0, and it’s making me laugh; it’s a funny show. So – I wasn’t reading the Internet at the time, that’s how I go on vacation, I really hate the Internet. So, I just stopped reading. But I was watching TV and Tosh was making me laugh, so I wrote a tweet saying, “your show makes me laugh,” and then I put it down, and then like two days later, I come home and I read these, like, bloggers and, like, Hollywood Reporter, “Louis CK Defends Daniel Tosh Amid Rape Joke Controversy”. I had no idea!

He got into some trouble for making some jokes about rape, and I didn’t know about it, and – so I’m a “defender of rape”. That’s what everybody says, now. And then, I read all this stuff, like “shame on you, Louis CK” and “I’ll never watch your show” – “You’re a rape apologist”! I’ve been called a “rape apologist” ’cause I said ‘hi’ to a guy! ’Cause I said, “Hey, nice show,” to a guy who everybody was mad at. So …

STEWART: You know the lesson, here: Never go to Vermont.

LOUIS CK: No, it’s dangerous. […] But here’s the thing. This is like a fight between comedians and bloggers, which is – we’re all just hyperbole and garbage that comes out of those two places.

STEWART: Very similar groups.

LOUIS CK: Yes. Just uneducated, unfettered, just “blargh” –

STEWART: Say whatever pops into your head, like “blah!”

LOUIS CK: Yeah. It’s also a fight between comedians and feminists, which are natural enemies […] Stereotypically speaking, feminists can’t take a joke and – stereotypically speaking – and […] on the other side, comedians can’t take criticism. Comedians are big pussies. And they can’t – So, to one side, you say, “If you don’t like the jokes, stay out of the comedy clubs,” the other side says, “If you don’t like criticism, stop Googling yourself every ten seconds.” Just – nobody’s making you read it! It’s positive! To me, all dialogue is positive.


LOUIS CK: I think you should listen when you read – If somebody has an opposite feeling from me, I wanna hear it so I can add to mine. I don’t wanna obliterate theirs with mine; that’s how I feel. Now, a lot of people don’t feel that way. For me, any joke about anything bad is great. That’s how I feel. Any joke about rape, the Holocaust, the Mets, aargh! – any joke about something bad is a positive for me. […] But now that I’ve read some blogs during this whole thing that have made me enlightened about things I didn’t know. This woman said how rape is something that polices women’s lives, that they have a narrow corridor. They can’t go out late, they can’t go to certain neighborhoods, they can’t dress a certain way, ’cause they might get – That’s part of me now that it wasn’t before, and I can still enjoy a rape joke.


LOUIS CK: But here’s the last thing I wanna say about it. This is also about men and women. ’Cause a lot of people are trading blogs and things about this with each other. They’re fighting about Daniel Tosh and rape jokes. […] That’s what I’ve been reading in blogs. But they’re both making a classic gender mistake. Because the women are saying, “Here’s how I feel about this,” but they’re also saying, “My feelings should be everyone’s primary concern.” Now, the men are making this mistake; they’re saying, “Your feelings don’t matter, your feelings are wrong, and your feelings are stupid.” And if you’ve ever lived with a woman, you can’t step in [shit] worse than that, than to tell a woman that her feelings don’t matter.

So, to the men, I say, “Listen, listen to what the women are saying about this;” to the women, I say, “Now that we heard you, you know, shut the [fuck] up for a minute.” And let’s all get back together and kill the Jews.

A classic CK-ian response if there ever was one (or so I’ve read). I do think he somewhat bungled his defense in making it sound like both sides were being equally unreasonable (has he seen those vile defenses from his fellow comedians and other, actual apologists?), but still, I can’t help but feel relieved to learn that one of the very few comedians who I actually find amusing wasn’t, in fact, being a rape-apologizing douche. It would’ve been nice if he had given his actual opinion on Tosh’s rapey comment (he instead chose to talk about the reaction it garnered), but then, the Rolling Stones did say that you can’t always get what you want, so let’s just move on.