One of the pitfalls of hitting the big time, is that every word out of your mouth can become news. And that’s the case today, when a blogger wrote about her experience at a recent Daniel Tosh show at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, the comedian’s home club. After the Tosh.0 star got heckled during a bit on rape, things got messy. Below, is an excerpt from a blog post one of the female audience members that night, posted on her friend’s Tumblr:
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!”
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…” and I, completely stunned and finding it hard to process what was happening but knowing i needed to get out of there, immediately nudged my friend, who was also completely stunned, and we high-tailed it out of there. It was humiliating, of course, especially as the audience guffawed in response to Tosh, their eyes following us as we made our way out of there. I didn’t hear the rest of what he said about me.
Moments ago, Tosh took to his Twitter to apologize, albeit half-heartedly. “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.”
So, what do you think? Did Tosh need to apologize? Did the audience member take Tosh’s words too seriously? Is Tosh’s apology good enough? Sound off in the comments section.
UPDATE 11:20 pm ET
The author of the blog has left this follow-up message on her Tumblr:
My friend and I wanted to thank everyone for there support and for getting this story out there. We just wanted everyone to know what Daniel Tosh had done and if you didn’t agree then to stop following him. My friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) is very surprised to have gotten any form of an apology and doesn’t wish to press any further charges against Daniel Tosh. We also wanted to thank those that started petitions and the like, it’s more than she ever wanted and those that helped make this story so popular it went to the media.
She does plan on returning to comedy shows in the future, but to see comedians that she’s seen before or to at least look up artists before going to their shows.
Again, thank you to everyone!
Meanwhile, Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada gave a statement to E Online:
Comedians sometimes tell jokes and sometimes they can be off color. I think Daniel Tosh is one of the funniest comics alive. He is one of the most caring people I know. He had no intentions of hurting anyone. understand where she is coming from, but Daniel Tosh did not attack this young lady. I feel bad for her and I apologize to her. If you are a member of the audience and you start dishing out something to a comic and try to be funny, you better be able to take it.