Social media, the platform that has fueled Daniel Tosh’s success, is biting him.
The raunchy comedian and star of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0” reportedly directed a “gang rape joke” at a female audience member during show in Los Angeles last Friday. She left the show humiliated, and eventually details of the joke landed on the Tumblr Cookies for Breakfast
, which is written by an anonymous author. The account of the incident was reblogged, tweeted and retweeted, and picked up by larger websites. This morning, news outlets such as CNN and the Chicago Tribune
are reporting on the incident.
Tosh offered an apology via Twitter.
“All the out of context misquotes aside, I’d like to sincerely apologize,” he tweeted
, following up with this tweet
: “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”
Tosh hasn't elaborated on how the joke was taken out of context. The Atlantic Wire
said Tosh’s apology was “almost as weak as the joke itself
On his Comedy Central show “Tosh.0,” the comedian riffs on humorous marginalia found on the Internet and often refers to his Twitter account, which has more than 6 million followers.
The author of “Cookies for Breakfast,” a friend of the woman who Tosh offended, shared her friend’s account of the incident. The audience member said she didn’t know who Tosh was when he took the stage:
“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!’
“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…’”
, the female-centric blog from Gawker media, lambasted Tosh for the joke
“Professional sayer of stupid sh*t Daniel Tosh says a lot of things that aren't funny, but perhaps the least funny of his unfunny oeuvre is his plethora of rape jokes. … As such, it was only a matter of time before he crossed the line from stupid rape joke to downright offensive, victimizing, bullying sh*t. Last Friday night, he outdid himself when he told a female heckler that it would be hilarious if she got gang raped. Sweet.”
People who have come to Tosh’s defense insist that his brand of humor is intentionally offensive. “Sometimes I find it funny, sometimes not, but that is his thing—he is an offensive comedian,” said a commenter to The Huffington Post
’s story on the incident. “Knowing that if you can tolerate, then laugh it up, if not don’t go to his show.”