What disturbs me the most about the controversy stirred up over comedian Daniel Tosh’s rape joke made to female heckler is that there is no proof that Tosh actual made the alleged rape joke remark.
The story was written by a friend of the woman who attended Tosh’s stand up act. The woman who attended the show was supposedly (after heckling Tosh, supposedly saying “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!” ) was on the receiving end of the comment: ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now?”
So, exactly who is the the woman these remarks were made to? We don’t know.
Jamie Masada, the owner of the club (The Laugh Factory) refutes the claims made by this woman. He says it happened like this:
“…Tosh asked the audience, “What you guys want to talk about?” After someone in the front said “rape,” a woman in the audience started screaming, “No, rape is painful, don’t talk about it.” Then, Masada says, “Daniel came in, and he said, ‘Well it sounds like she’s been raped by five guys’ — something like that. I really didn’t hear properly.”
Daniel Tosh, who apologized for the incident on Twitter said he was misquoted out of context. His apology is likely the result of the bad publicity.
So we have two named people’s word against an anonymous source over what exactly happened. The anonymous source is also a secondary source whereas Tosh and Masada were actually at the club when the alleged “rape joke” occurred.
Still, many news sources are taking the unknown woman’s word (which she herself did not write) over the words of Tosh and Masada.
CNN’s article is probably the most fair out of all of the articles I read. Other’s like Seattle Post’s article, the Chicago Tribune’s article, and The Hollywood Reporter’s article, as well as tons of blogs also fail to mention that the blog post on Cookie’s for Breakfast, is not a reliable source.
Some articles are downright vicious against Tosh based on this woman’s claims.
So what disturbs me the most about the whole incident? That an anonymous source makes a claim and suddenly Tosh is guilty of her claims. This is not a good precedent for comedians.