Comedian and Tosh.0 star Daniel Tosh is the latest comic to issue a public apology, this time for making an comment deemed offensive during a show at L.A.'s Laugh Factory last Friday night.
The incident first broke via a Tumblr post, in which the author shares the story of "a friend," an anonymous fan who was in the audience at the Laugh Factory that night. It seems Tosh was going on about how rape can be funny, because anything can be made funny. The woman (again, not the author of the Tumblr post -- just her friend) spoke up and said "Actually, rape is never funny." Tosh then singled out the audience member and said "Wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now?" The woman and her friend got up and left.
Today Tosh issued an apology via his Twitter, saying "All out of context misquotes aside, I'd like to sincerely apologize." So his apology is "sincere," even though he couldn't resist getting in that dig about being misquoted and taken out of context. I'm pretty sure the "context" was a comedy show, which the woman accurately stated. Or is there a better context in which a comedian should be allowed to make rape jokes?
Tosh seems to fancy himself an "edgy" comic, and with that persona comes the challenge of knowing where the line is and when and if it should be crossed. Many comedians would argue there is no line. Tosh himself was making that case, right up to the point where he apologized.
This conversation comes up over and over, and while it's one worth having it's always the same thing. Comedians are allowed to say anything they want, but also have to be responsible for the things that they say. Again, this audience member was totally within her rights to be offended. She was within her rights to choose to leave the club, and she was within her rights to post about it on her Tumblr. Anyone else also shares the right to be offended, and to determine whether or not they're going to pay to see Tosh in the future or watch his show on Comedy Central. That's how this works. But as a comedian, Tosh should not be expected to publicly apologize for something he said on stage. If someone makes a determination based on this story that Tosh is offensive or not funny or a jackass, that can impact their opinion of him in the future. But that's it. There is and should be no humor police.
Via TV Guide.com
Photo by Mattias Clamer/Courtesy Comedy Central