How does one recover from defending Daniel Tosh's pointed rape jokes after the internet and most women with brains have railed against the hot-button comedian? If you're Louis C.K., it's simple: you tell the truth.
In the wake of Tosh's rape joke heard 'round the world — in which he responded to an offended female heckler, "Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now? Like, right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her?" — C.K. sustained some serious criticism when he tweeted at Tosh to offer his support.
"@danieltosh your show makes me laugh every time I watch it. And you have pretty eyes," he wrote, while on vacation in Vermont. The only catch was that C.K. wasn't offering his support of rape jokes. He tells Jon Stewart that since he was on vacation, he was mostly checked out from all things Internet. He just happened to be watching Tosh.0 and thought he'd tell the host he thought he was doing a good job.
"I had no idea. He got in trouble for making some jokes about rape and I had no idea, so now I'm a defender of rape," C.K. laughs. He came back from vacation to an avalanche of criticism, from boycott threats to angry bloggers' rants, and he says he was dumbfounded. "I've become a 'rape apologist' because I said 'hi' to a guy," he says. "I said 'nice show' to a guy who everybody was mad at."
But it's not like C.K. to bring up a topic as heated as the Tosh scandal and not offer his million dollar, hilarious opinion. So of course, after he cleared up his tweet, which he has since deleted, he served up his opinion on the rape joke front as only he can. "Stereotypically speaking, feminists can't take a joke," he said amid some booing, to which he replied, "See?" But don't worry, feminists. He's got some choice words for his own kind as well. "On the other hand, comedians can't take criticisms. Comedians are big pu****s," he adds.
And then he gets to the equalizing point, the one most of us have settled on since the Tosh issue blew up: opinions about comedy are a good thing. "If somebody has the opposite feeling from me, I want to hear it so I can add to mine. I don't want to obliterate theirs with mine... Some people don't feel that way," C.K. says. And he admits that amid the scandal, he's done just that: he's added knowledge about the rape issue to his thought process, thanks in part to a particular article
which points out that fear of rape dictates many women's everyday activities.
"I have that now," C.K. says. "And I can still enjoy a good rape joke." Tosh supporters, note the operative word here: "good."
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