Hey Comedians, Harassment and Assault Aren't Actually Hilarious

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A good bitchslap from Eddie Griffin will turn any gold star lesbian straight, right guys?

Misogynists and rape apologists, start your engines! The newest contender in comedy's race to the bottom is Eddie Griffin, who's edging out Daniel Tosh for the title of Least Liked Human. Tosh, for those who've already blocked out the memory, is the oh-so-charming comedian who told an audience member that he'd find it hilarious if she got gang-raped.

Griffin followed on Tosh's heels a few days later when he performed at Tommy T's Comedy Club in Pleasanton on July 13. According to the San Jose Mercury News, audience member Fiona Walshe plans to file suit against both Griffin and the club over the comedian's harassing behavior. Walshe claims that Griffin started making jokes about her appearance when he noticed she wasn't laughing at his set. When he realized she was sitting with her female partner, Walshe claims, Griffin kicked it up a notch, thrusting his crotch into Walshe's face and offering to "show them a good time." (Because, as we know, all lesbians really need to set them straight is a good deep dicking, amirite, guys?) Walshe responded by tossing her drink in Griffin's face. He then allegedly threw water bottles and salt & pepper shakers at her and her partner as they exited the club.

Of course, Griffin thinks he's the one who was wronged -- when TMZ reported the story, he posted the following on his Facebook page:

"These TMZ bitches said I assaulted a 'WOMAN' at my show in cali. I don't know what kind of eyes these mutha fuckas got but that dyke bitch threw a glass of whatever she was drinkin' in my face. All over a joke about dyke bitches! ... Ya'll better retract your story before I sue ya'll bitch asses for defirmation of character!"

So, let's break this down:

  • Lesbians aren't real women; they're just guys with a penchant for flannel who get offended easily.
  • Calling someone a "dyke bitch" and questioning her gender identity based on sexual orientation isn't homophobic; it's just commonly acceptable slang (Griffin's rep claims he meant it as slang, not homophobia).
  • Thrusting your crotch into someone's face while sexually taunting them isn't assault -- even though sexual assault is defined as sexually touching someone who has not consented -- it's "just a joke." Meanwhile, dousing someone with your martini definitely counts as assault.
  • "Defirmation of character" is totally a thing. With lawyers and stuff.

Uh. Okay.

I just typed, "Clearly, there are several issues with this," but then backspaced it because I'm not sure if it's only clear to me, or if other people understand why incidents like this are problematic (hint: it's because they represent how culturally acceptable things like rape, assault, and queer-bashing still are, despite all our hopes for the better). My biggest gripe is with the general consensus that, if assault or harassment happens inside a comedy club, it doesn't count as "real," but only as a "joke." Reputable news outlets are still reporting that Daniel Tosh is embroiled in controversy over a "rape joke," instead of calling it what it is: sexual harassment. Eddie Griffin thinks he can call a lesbian (who, by the way, never heckled him before he attacked her) a "dyke bitch" without being labeled a homophobe, and thrust his crotch into her face repeatedly without it being called sexual harassment or assault.

Each time there is public outcry over this kind of comedian behavior, comics argue two points: that his or her detractors just can't take a joke, or that the comedian's actions are a brave stand against censorship. Griffin's rep told the Huffington Post, "Eddie has never and will never censor his act .... Eddie's famous quote is, 'Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. They shouldn't come to a comedy show.'" However, let's be quite clear: no one is expecting Griffin to censor himself. He can tell jokes about whatever subjects he likes. But Griffin's actions can't all be categorized as "jokes" just because they took place on a stage. When Tosh went from telling a joke about rape to directly threatening a specific audience member, he crossed from comedy into harassment. When Griffin went from teasing an audience member about her appearance to thrusting his pelvis in her face while taunting her sexuality, he crossed from comedy into harassment and assault. Let's not censor ourselves from accurately labeling these actions.

It's scary to admit how infuriating this is to me, because I know I run the risk of being written off as yet another "angry feminist." But I am angry, and nauseated, and disappointed. I believe that censoring my rage is dangerous, because assault and harassment aren't going to vanish from comedy (or the street, for that matter) if no one speaks up against them. There is no magical out-of-bounds zone when it comes to assault and harassment -- not even a comedy club. The same definitions apply, no matter the setting, and the same rules should be enforced. Imagine if one of your co-workers hopped up on your desk today and started humping your face. You might feel as Walshe did, "violated and stunned," and surprised at how "harsh and derogatory," his or her actions were. Your co-worker would be fired, because such behavior is unacceptable in a workplace. When comedians and other entertainers go to work, the same rules should apply.

Here's the thing: Rape sucks. Sexual harassment sucks. Comedy isn't supposed to -- it's supposed to be funny. Yet every time a comedian isn't creative, witty, or hard-working enough to come up with a good joke and blurts out a downright abusive remark instead, he justifies it by claiming that all those "angry feminists" just don't understand his 'art.' He hides behind the idea that being transgressive is, by its very nature, artistic. In doing so, he reveals himself as a weak artist -- an artist who, frankly, sucks.

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16 comments
meatsack
meatsack

Here's the deal, comedians are not funny anymore, and most never were.

 

They try harder and harder to be less funny than Andrew Dice Clay, who wasn't funny at all.

 

Going to see most any comedian is like going to see a person fart, it's like the TV shows from idiocracy, one long kick in the balls or an ass farting for twenty minutes.

 

If you go and are offended that's on you.

 

Steve Martin and Andy Kaufman were a long time ago, even Don Rickles is high comedy compared to most of the extended farts that pass for comedians.

datruth
datruth

Read some Bukowski and quit crying.

LiberalFeminazi
LiberalFeminazi

He crossed the line with the damn crotch thrusting in the ladies face. There are plenty of comedians who razz the hell out the people in the front row, all that's fine and dandy til you put your crotch in my face. And Eddie Griffin's shriveled up lil drunken black pecker in my face would offend the shit out of me too.

Federale
Federale topcommenter

I thought any criticism of black people was racist?  I guess not when lesbians criticize blacks.  I wonder why the radical left has suddenly decided they want to censor views they disagree with?  Oh, sorry, they always wanted to do that.  They called it censorship when George Carlin used the profanity the left so loves.  But I guess "dykes" is a forbidden word.  Kuddos to George Orwell for calling this one in Animal Farm and 1984.  

 

Congrats, little Katie Conger is now the new Stalin. 

Edward
Edward

You choose to go to a comedy show, you don't have to go there to make a living.  If you don't like it just leave, hell, try to get your money back and post about your shitty experience.  If you are easily offended don't go see someone like Eddie Griffin.  I don't see him because I don't think he's funny, but he has a right to be unfunny in whatever way he pleases.  I find people trying to make a quick buck from ridiculous lawsuits to be far more offensive. 

 

You can call me anything you want, I just won't see your show again, when we start mandating what is funny or any other form of art we all lose.

david_powell3006
david_powell3006

If you don't want to get razzed on at a comedy show, don't sit in the front row. If you sit in the front row, you are fair game. That's how it has been in Comedy Clubs forever.Suing because you sat in the front row and got busted on? Really? What a joke.

david_powell3006
david_powell3006

If you don't want to get razzed at a Comedy show, don't sit in the front row. If you do, you are fair game. That's how Comedy Clubs are. Don't sit in the front row and file a lawsuit if one of the comics busts on you, talk about weak.

oklahoma
oklahoma

Well said Ms. Conger!  The additional and equally offensive aspect of this story is that EVERY person in that comedy club did not walk out with Walshe, and that EVERY person sitting in the Tosh audience didn't walk out.  Idiots like these two will continue to be offensive as long as we are willing to sit through the display and pay for it.  We reward them for their hideous behavior and they do it again.  We are all guilty if we don't vote with our feet and our money.

 

 

sergioqfh83676
sergioqfh83676

 @LiberalFeminazi Terry replied I'm impressed that a mother can get paid $5509 in 1 month on the network. have you read this(Click on menu Home)

ReasonablyNice
ReasonablyNice

 @Federale Preach it, brother. If Comrade Conger had her way, people who tell jokes for a living would censor themselves before simulating forced oral sex with unwitting members of their audience. If people can't see that for Orwell's proverbial boot stamping on a human face forever, than we truly are on the way to the gulag.

 

"First they came for the douchebags who make rape jokes, and I didn't speak out because I was a decent person."

Sten
Sten

 @Edward Somehow I think you'd be a little upset if he thrust his crotch into YOUR face and called you a fag.

LiberalFeminazi
LiberalFeminazi

 @david_powell3006  There is a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE difference between getting Razzed and getting an unknown and unwanted d*ck thrusted in your face. HUGE!!!!!!

Edward
Edward

 @Sten I would either leave, talk shit back or take it.  I would probably also write about a poor experience.  I would not assault him by throwing a drink on him.  I would not file a frivolous lawsuit or get or get totally bent out of shape.  I have a thick skin, however and am not looking for a free handout in life.

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