In case you haven't heard (or read the original story) about Daniel Tosh suggesting it would be funny if a woman got gang-raped because she spoke out during his act, let me brief you:
Girl goes out with friends to a Dane Cook / Daniel Tosh show. Girl doesn't know who Tosh is. Tosh says that rape jokes are always funny, repetitively. Girl speaks up from the crowd -- I'll even say heckles -- saying they're not. Tosh then 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…"
Now, I don't talk much about my professional career on this blog, but I have worked with comedians in video, commercials, skit comedy, writing and other professional engagements for over 10 years. I hate hecklers. I believe with all my heart that, when hecklers insert themselves into an act, they deserve what they get. It's bad behavior.
When this girl interrupted the act, she set herself up to be a target, yes. That doesn't make her wrong -- I happen to agree with her, and I will tell you point blank that I don't think she was wrong for speaking her mind. But she DID insert herself in the act; she did put herself in the path of retribution.
Had Tosh responded with literally anything other than a suggestion that she be gang-raped, it would have probably just been yet another heckler getting what they deserved. But he didn't. What Daniel Tosh did say? In case you didn't fully digest it the first time, the guy actually said, "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…" That's not retribution, it was fucking disgusting. It's at that point that there is no defense.
I am reading things that people are saying about this incident:
"She's a professional victim."Well that makes it all ok then, does it? Or, maybe it doesn't and you're a sick fuck for thinking that. You know what you sound like?
"She paid to see Dane Cook and Daniel Tosh; she knew what she was getting into."
"She deserved it."
"She was asking for it."
"She shouldn't have walked down that dark street at night."Let me be very, very clear on this point. If you think that she deserved to hear that she should be gang-raped in return for saying rape jokes aren't funny, I honestly, seriously, earnestly, from the bottom of my heart want you to GO FUCK YOURSELF. Get off my Twitter list. Unfriend me on Facebook. Stop reading my blog. Get the fuck out of my life. I'm not kidding.
"She led him on. She deserved it."
"She said 'No' but she really meant 'Yes.'"
"She was asking for it."
Look: there are lines. Raping women? That's one of them. Michael Richards calling black people "nigger" as a retort? That's another one. Hitting someone in the face because they heckle you? There's another.
This shit is not okay. Never ever. There's an argument that Tosh was trying to prove how bad rape jokes are by being ironic; harping on how funny rape jokes are because he actually believes they aren't, and he was being hyperbolic. The problem is, the guy isn't gifted enough to play with nuance. He's a terrible comedian. He goes for low-hanging fruit. That look on his face after every joke; Like a 13 year old in front of a bunch of 16 year olds, trying way too hard to be funny by telling lame dick jokes, hoping they found him funny... He's just not a gifted comedian.
If you want to play the hyperbolic-excess-to-prove-how-bad-it-actually-is card, have the skills to do it. Tosh doesn't. As a comedian, you're supposed to be in control and in charge. You're supposed to be smarter and funnier than those in the audience. If you're so fucking funny and smart, win with wit and humor. See Galifianakis, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfield, and others. In fact, watch this to see how it's done:
Or, if you're a simpleton frat boy lowest-common-denominator
It's simple: heckling sucks, and hecklers deserve punishment. But actual pros will tell you this: if you can't handle interruptions from the public, DON'T FUCKING WORK IN PUBLIC. If you behave like those who are supposedly so beneath you, suddenly you're eye level with them. You don't win, you actually lose.
Jokes about raping women just aren't funny. Actually suggesting that it'd be funny if one man, much less five men, raped a woman in retribution for anything whatsoever? That's disgusting.
End. Of. Fucking. Story.