Daniel Tosh Orders “Rape” Out Of TV Premiere

Posted on July 12th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

RumorFix has learned exclusively that producers and editors are scrambling to take out any reference to rape in the pilot episode of Daniel Tosh's new animated series, Brickleberry.

Production sources tell RumorFix that Tosh has given them just over 24 hours to make the changes -- because the series is scheduled to be shown at Comic-Con in San Diego Friday night.

"Everyone is freaking out, because most of the pilot is about rape," our source says.

Tosh, who has the number one show on Comedy Central, Tosh.0, became ultra-sensitive to rape after making a joke that set off a firestorm of controversy.

Last Friday, the 37-year-old comedian responded to a heckler at the Laugh Factor in LA by joking, "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…"

Tosh has since apologized for the joke.

UPDATE: Friday 7 p.m. PT.  Daniel Tosh did not attend Comic-Con, but sent a funny video message -- staying away from the controversy. The panelists, which included voice cast members David Herman (Office Space), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants), and Jerry Minor (Anchorman), also avoided the rape discussion.

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  • 50 Responses

    1. A. Guest says:

      Well at least he was smart enough to realize that rape is not funny and wants to have the lines removed and replaced with other things. 

    2. Dawn Lily says:

      I don’t know how he thought joking about rape in the first place would ever be funny, but I am glad he realized his mistake and is taking the necessary steps to correct it.

    3. Jeff Fecke says:

      It does say something that “most of” the pilot was about rape, doesn’t it?

    4. NoticingTheGap says:

      That was not an apology.

    5. Anonymous says:

      First of all, that quote of how Tosh responded to a heckler is solely based on the anonymous hearsay account of someone who wasn’t even at the show, so it would be much better if you qualified the quote by saying something like “Tosh is reported to have said to a heckler…” instead of making it sound like it is the unquestionable truth.  The Laugh Factory’s owner has reported a different version of the quote.

      Second, to @google-83dcc99cb008a90c7f00dfae28c7310e:disqus and @74fe273277a5847d80bfc8a4f0ddf033:disqus , I’d just like to point out that there is no such thing as a topic that is not funny; only jokes that are not funny.  A good comedian can make light of the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the Holocaust, pedophilia, etc., etc., etc.  Rape is no different in that respect.  Specifically, Sarah Silverman and George Carlin both have jokes about rape that are widely perceived as funny.  Daniel Tosh has made a habit of using rape in his jokes before, and until this one particular incident, they were generally received as funny.  And while I may not be in the best position to comment, since I am a guy who has never been subject to such an awful and heinous attack, I am certainly not alone in this belief.  For example, rape victim Megan Carpentier wrote a blog entry on Jezebel.com more than three years ago defending the concept that rape jokes can be funny – and made one herself.  Comedy is in the eye of the beholder.


      • Jeff Fecke says:

        If it’s anonymous hearsay, why did Tosh admit to it and apologize (albeit halfheartedly)? Why is he now scrambling to do damage control? And why are you so desperate to defend him? Yes, rape jokes can be funny, and so can jokes about the holocaust. But it’s like juggling with dynamite — you’d better be damn sure you’re being careful with them. One slip, and the results will be catastrophic.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s anonymous hearsay because the poster who wrote of the incident did not give their name, and wrote right at the top, “This is something that happened to a friend of mine in her own words.”  (http://breakfastcookie.tumblr.com/post/26879625651/so-a-girl-walks-into-a-comedy-club) That is the classic definition of hearsay.

          Tosh did not admit to the statement as described here.  He apologized for the woman being offended, while also stating that the description involved “out of context misquotes.” (https://twitter.com/danieltosh/statuses/222796532653629441)  That’s quite a bit different.

          I’m not desperate to defend him – in fact, I’m not defending him specifically at all, seeing as how I never gave my opinion on what I thought of him or this particular joke.  I’m only defending comedy and the concept of getting as much information as possible before rushing to judgment.

          If you want to say, “Daniel Tosh isn’t funny,” or “that joke isn’t funny,” that’s absolutely fine.  I’m in no position to comment on your opinion of what jokes are or are not funny.  But it bothers me when people insist that an entire topic is off-limits to the concept of ever being funny.

          I completely agree that one must be careful when making jokes about any sensitive topic, including rape.  All I’m saying is, that doesn’t mean you can make a blanket statement that no joke on that topic can ever be funny, as the two commenters that I responded to here did.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh, and he’s scrambling to do damage control because regardless of whether he’s right or wrong, good PR demands it, for the same reason that the movie “Neighorhood Watch” was renamed “The Watch” when release of the previews just happened to coincide with the shooting of Trayvon Martin.  The makers of that movie didn’t do anything wrong by naming it “Neighborhood Watch,” but it still looks bad.

          • Kristen H says:

            “Good PR” would have been to not make an un-funny rape joke.

            • Anonymous says:

              No doubt about it, but I’ve made no claim that this particular rape joke was funny – I’m only arguing against people who make the blanket statement, “rape jokes are never funny.”

              While we’re at it, though, I haven’t heard any description of how the audience responded to the joke.  It’s very hard for us to imagine what it would have been like in that moment, building on whatever jokes he had told immediately prior, listening to the woman give her opinion, hearing the timing and diction, etc. – all the things that go into the context of what makes any joke funny or not.  It would be nice, therefore, if someone who was at the show stepped forward and said, “the place fell deadly silent” or “I’ve never seen people laughing so hysterically” to get an idea of whether this particular joke was funny or not.

              The closest I’ve heard to a description of the audience’s reaction was the article involving an interview with the club’s owner, which is of course biased, not to mention he only comments on the audience response to the entire set (standing ovation) than to this particular line.

      •  Actually, the report is written in the first person. It’s the direct statement of the woman who was threatened. (Here’s your clue: “in her own words”.) It was simply posted by someone else.

        And can you possibly think of a reason why someone would post that anonymously? A glance at any comments thread on any site discussing the incident will give the answer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Even if the whole story was physically typed by the woman who was threatened, it’s still hearsay as it has been presented to us, because she’s not the one who provided it to the rest of us.  It was provided by someone else.  Hearsay is an external statement, offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted, which perfectly describes the story.

          For example, if I go into court and am asked if Keven Keith went to the zoo, and I testify, “I heard Kevin Keith say, ‘I went to the zoo and saw monkeys swinging on the trees,'” I’m giving a first person quote, but it’s still unquestionably hearsay.  The legal reason behind this is that the other side doesn’t have the opportunity to cross-examine you on whether that statement was factually correct, and we have the same issue here.I’m not saying there isn’t a completely valid reason for posting it anonymously; of course there are plenty of valid reasons.  I’m simply pointing out the undisputed fact that it was posted anonymously.This article states that Tosh “responded to a heckler at the Laugh Factor in LA by joking, ‘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…’”  The author gives no indication that there is any debate over what was said.It is certainly possible that that is exactly what happened, but it’s also certainly possible that this differs from what happened, and between the fact that it is hearsay, the fact that it is anonymous, and the fact that at least one other account gives a different description, there is more than enough doubt that good journalism demands a more accurate wording, such as “Tosh is reported to have responded to a heckler by joking…”buzzfeed.com/amyodell/comedy-club-owner-says-daniel-tosh-incident-has-be

          • Anonymous says:

            That long response was formatted much better before Disqus mushed all my paragraph breaks into one long paragraph.  Sorry about that.

            • JD says:

               It isn’t hearsay- you are describing a person testifying in court to what they heard; or X saying that Y said. Here we have a person posting another account on the web; or X posting Y’s anonymous account. That is not any different than anonymous Y posting Y’s anonymous account. The only question is whether the account as reported is accurate, and Tosh certainly has the ability to correct the record- and has not. In fact the manager that you mention contradicts the account specifically states he didn’t really hear what Tosh said. It is reasonable at this point to take the account on it’s face until Tosh or someone who was actually able to hear what Tosh said says differently.

            • Anonymous says:

              The blogger is testifying that her friend told her about what happened at the show.  The blogger is X and the friend is Y.  In simpler phrasing, the blogger is asking us to believe that what her friend told her is true.  That is hearsay.

              The first sentence of Wikipedia’s entry on hearsay is: “Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience.”

              How is that not what happened here?  One person (the blogger) gathered information from another person (the woman at the show) concerning some event, condition or thing (the heckling and Tosh’s response) of which the first person (the blogger) had no direct experience (she wasn’t there).

              I want to be very clear and point out that I am not saying the description that was posted by the blogger was wrong.  I don’t know if it was right or wrong, and for all I know it may very well be 100% accurate.  All that I am saying is that, just like I don’t know if the blogger’s description is right or wrong, and just like you don’t know if the blogger’s description is right or wrong, the author of this article also doesn’t know if the blogger’s description is right or wrong.  The author doesn’t even know the name of her source (the blogger); there’s been no corroboration of any kind; and again, it’s based on anonymous hearsay.  In such a case, it is irresponsible journalism to use definite language like Tosh “responded” to the heckling in the manner described, when the only fact we know to be absolutely true is that Tosh “is reported to have responded” to the heckling in that matter.

              Tosh is under no obligation to correct the record, and he has specifically stated that the record contains “out of context misquotes.”  So he has called the accuracy of the report into question, yet the author here, with no basis for doing so, still makes the assumption that the blogger’s account is entirely accurate.

        • nonononono says:

          do you understand what hearsay is? are you confused? i think someone needs to go buy a dictionary. or ask anyone who speaks english.

      • Tjheazlit says:

        I think you hit the nail on the head. You are not alone in the belief that a joke told about rape is funny, if it’s done right. There is more to rape than just the act itself. There is a sense of filth that takes much too long to go away. There is a loss in self trust. There is a forever after living infear, never perceiving the world the same again no matter how hard you try. There is never being able to tell your story because people then look at you as damage. There is a sense of betrayal by the justice system and society because inmany if not most cases of acquaintance rape, it’s impossible to prove and you will never see justice. Heaven forbid it happens at the hands of a sport hero like Kobe Bryant, no one will believe the survivor, and in that case she even got death threats. A much too common response to acquaintance rape or assault is the rapist will sue his victim to silence her for defaming him. There a millions of dollars of lost productivity from the women who endure. Their otherwise beneficial contributions to society as,a whole are cut short. Other relationships are ruined because of inability to understand the survivor, and frequently the survivor becomes isolated because not only does she loose friends, but she finds a difficulty in fully opening to others. Future relationships of a romantic nature are difficult to cement as trust is harder to build. And if you think you don’t know anyone that has been victimized in this sexually oppressive way, think again. Statistics are inaccurate, or fail to reflect the full nature of the problem. They don’t include attempted rape, they don’t include 2nd degree sexual assault. They don’t include inappropriate touching….there is at least one woman in your life that has been affected by this disgusting cowardly creep crime. And although comedy is sacred and we all like to laugh and free speech is important and edgy sells, that doesn’t mean it’s cool to joke about rape, or that even when sarah Silverman or George carlin tell the joke, our skin doesn’t crawl. We just buck up and keep quiet because that’s the society we live in, and most people are ok with that. Right?

        • Anonymous says:

          Rape is an awful, heinous, disgusting crime, perpetrated by despicable people who should spend the rest of their lives in jail.  It causes permanent emotional and physical scars to the victim, and often emotional scars to the victim’s friends and families as well.  You’ll get no argument from me there.

          And, as I fully admitted in my original post, I’m not in the best position to judge this, as a guy who has never been raped.

          But surely a woman who _has_ been raped would be in a stronger position than me to comment on this issue, right?

          In my post above, I discussed and linked to a Jezebel blog post written in 2008 by Megan Carpentier, a woman who was raped and sexually assaulted (two separate incidents).  In her post, she wrote:

          “But I often hear from people — men and women — that rape jokes are never, ever funny. Well, I would like to disagree — and to point out that even some people who swear that this is true can find one that they like. But, furthermore, by putting sexual assault on a kind of untouchable comedy pedestal, I think we’re getting further away from allowing victims to be able to make it a normative, discuss-able and, yes, mock-able experience, and that the more different we make it and ourselves from victims of other situations, the more difficult it is the get actual equity in the way the rest of society treats it.”

          I am curious, what would you say in response to Ms. Carpentier?  That she doesn’t fully understand how rape victims have to live in fear after rape?  That she doesn’t get the sense of filth that a rape victim feels?  I’m fairly confident she does, yet she believes that rape jokes absolutely can be funny.  Is she wrong?

          I understand that you are of the opinion that rape jokes are not funny – though I would argue that your actual opinion, whether you realize it or not, is (much like Ms. Carpentier states) that you are of the opinion that _this particular rape joke_ is not funny.  But I would be willing to wager that if you heard a rape joke a year from now when this particular debate about Daniel Tosh isn’t quite as relevant and you’re not thinking about that specific joke on any level other than “it’s a joke,” you could very well find it funny.  When I discussed this issue with my fiance, who works for a non-profit national womans’ advocacy group, she initially took the position that there is no such thing as a funny rape joke — there couldn’t possibly be a funny rape joke! — until I pointed out that, six months ago, she laughed hysterically while watching a scene in the Book of Mormon that involved raping a baby with AIDS.

          But I digress.  Going back to my original thought, I understand that you are of the opinion that rape is simply too horrible to be funny.  I have a solution to you: don’t laugh when a comedian makes a joke about rape.  But at the same time, please do not stand on a pedestal and tell the rest of us what we should or should not find funny.  I am Jewish.  I personally know people who survived the Holocaust.  I personally know many people who lost family in the Holocaust.  And yet, when I recently heard Louis CK say, “Now, let’s get back to what’s really important: killing the Jews,” I laughed out loud.  And knowing at least some of those Holocaust survivors as I do, I’m fairly confident some of them would have at least chuckled at the line, too.

          When Sarah Silverman tells a rape joke, YOU may buck up and keep quiet, and YOUR skin may very well crawl.  But you are not the chosen representative of all people.  Some people – including at least one female rape victim – see it very differently, and you are in no position to tell them they are wrong, just as I am in no position to tell you that you should find such jokes funny.

    6. Anonymous says:

      I don’t know, I think rape might be pretty hill-arious…  Especially if it involves eskimos…

      Just saying…

    7. Anonymous says:

      what the hell kind of comedy show is it that it’s mostly about rape???  What the hell is this guy’s sick obsession with rape?

    8. KuraFire says:

      “Tosh has since apologized for the joke.”

      No he hasn’t. He said “I’d like to sincerely apologize” — but an apology never came. Saying you want to apologize is not apologizing, it’s copping out in the slimiest way. It’s not even a non-apology (like “I’m sorry if you were offended”), it’s a total deceit.

      • SG says:

        Umm… yes it is. “I’d like to apologize” effectively is the same as “I apologize”, as long as he didn’t continue the sentence with something that contradicts it. That’s just how people talk.

        It’s like saying “I’d like to invite you all to my beach house for the weekend” — that really does mean the speaker has invited you all to his beach house for the weekend, as long as he doesn’t continue the sentence with something like “but I can’t”. That’s just how people talk.

      • SG says:

        I’d say it is an apology, but maybe not a good enough apology.

    9. Anonymous says:

      What he said was not an apology.  Playing the victim? Certainly.  Shirking the blame?  Of course.  Implying that a woman who heckles a rape joke is way worse than a rape joke?  Bingo! Tosh is a scumbag.

    10. KillingAriella says:

      Should have put apologized in quotes…

    11. Alicia says:

      What kind of Comedy Central show is mostly about rape? Um…FAMILY GUY. That show is always about Peter being raped by the Bull and Meg being raped by her teacher or about Meg being to ugly for anyone to want to rape her. I haven’t watched that show for a few years now since almost all the jokes became rape jokes. It makes me sick, as does Tosh. We shouldn’t be trying to normalize rape and make it funny. Just remember, every time a rape joke is told, someone is actually being raped somewhere in the country. Think about that.

    12. Siobhan says:

      The issue at hand isn’t whether rape jokes are funny or not. It’s about how, in a defensive gesture, Tosh used the subject of rape and the very real fear of being raped to assert power over and silence a woman who stood up to him in public about something she truly believed in. It’s the oppressive manner in which he treated her, and our society’s lack of deference regarding the ever-growing rape culture in which we live.

      Considering that 32,000 emails have been sent to Doug Herzog requesting the removal of Tosh from Comedy Central, I have a feeling it’s the network’s decision and not Tosh’s to remove mentions of rape from the new pilot.

      • Anonymous says:

        What’s oppressive is that woman trying to silence a performer talking about something she doesn’t agree with.  There was never anything close to a threat of her being raped by people who showed up to the comedy club to watch a comedian.  She’s a dumb cooz who got what she deserved.  She paid to watch a comedy show, and then interrupted it just because she didn’t like it.  How about going to see RENT and standing up halfway through to voice your opinion about the performance.

        • Catsy says:

          Yeah, making light of rape is just fine, but hecklers are “oppressive”.

          And this heckler was a woman, so you refer to her as a “cooz.”
          You’re a real asshole.

          • Anonymous says:

            She voluntarily sat in the audience while Daniel Tosh was on stage performing.  A stand-up makes jokes about anything.  Everyone has a different opinion on what is and what isn’t appropriate.  The boundaries constantly change and some performers make a living on pushing the limits.  Just because you have a problem with it, doesn’t mean you’re right, and doesn’t mean anyone else has a problem with it.  She could have gotten up and left quietly like a mature adult, but instead she made it about her, and stood up and heckled a comedian.  She’s an idiot and she got what she deserved.

            • kt says:

              Okay, so heckling is rude, and people should expect to be offended by stand-up comedians. Fine. But saying, “wouldn’t it be funny if she got raped right now?” is maybe just a little bit worse than just being rude. It’s a rape joke that makes fun of the victim rather than satirizing rape culture, and his response implies that threats of rape are an appropriate response to rude behavior, thereby reinforcing rape culture. It feeds into the narrative that any kind of bitchy behavior from a woman deserves retaliation in the form of sexual violence. I get that he wasn’t actually threatening her, I really do. But her behavior does not justify his response, not just for its effect on her as an individual, but for the role he is playing in reinforcing rape culture. 
              I mean, the one in six American women who will be raped in their lifetimes might be with this woman in having “a problem” with rape jokes.

            • Anonymous says:

              When you make a statement like he made, it’s so over-the-top, that you assume the people who hear it are intelligent enough to realize it’s not meant to be taken the least bit seriously.  No one says a joke like that to laugh at a victim of a rape.  You’re trying to find humor in discussing a taboo subject openly.  There’s no victim in this case, there’s just an idiot that doesn’t understand how to watch a comedian in a club.  He said it to a room of people in a club, he didn’t broadcast it on television.  So no to that whole idea of reinforcing a rape culture.  If anything, she’s doing that because she’s the one who brought attention to it by going home and blogging about it.  If she just left like an adult, then the joke a) would have never happened, b) made it to millions of people on the internet.

              “It feeds into the narrative that an kind of bitchy behavior from a woman deserves retaliation in the form of sexual violence.”

              No.  She was complaining about a joke about rape and he just turned it around on her because she was interrupting a performance.  It wasn’t like she complained about a racially insensitive joke and he told her to go get raped.  That was already the subject, and he used it.

              “One in six american women who will be raped”

              How about all the people who will die of disease, why aren’t you outraged at jokes about disease? What about all the people who are attacked by jokes about religion?  Why aren’t you outraged by that?  What about jokes about old people?  All those old people might have their feelings hurt, why aren’t you outraged about that?  The answer is because it’s not important to you personally.  That’s the problem here.  She decided that rape jokes are off limits because that’s her personal line in the sand, and therefore should be everyones’ line. Let’s just ban all jokes and free thought because someone might be offended.

            • Retrospectives says:

              You are most likely a man who will never in your life have to personally experience rape or the real, daily fear of rape that women have. A white, straight, male comedian threatening a woman with rape is not “discussing a taboo subject openly”. There is no discussion. He is flat out threatening her. His threat of rape against a women has no effect on him because as a man, he has a much lower chance of being raped or being afraid of rape. There are power dynamics at play in this situation that transcend the world of comedy/heckling/jokes.

            • Anonymous says:

              There was about as much of a threat, as an actor in a play suddenly pointing a fake gun at an audience member.  She was in a comedy club, and the entertainer turned her words around on her.  There was no threat, there was a woman who decided everyone in a club needed to know her personal opinions.  She should have walked out and asked for a refund, which club owners are happy to give to keep people from sitting there and heckling.  

              He was discussing a taboo subject, the “threat” didn’t come until she said something.  

              I’m not a sociopath, I also find jokes about rape to be despicable, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to tell them.  If she feels threatened by what was a joke, than she’s just a fool. She was in a safe, controlled environment, and the person lashing out at her tells jokes for a living, and was in the middle of working.  Give me a break with calling it a threat.  

            • thefunone says:

              so you assume that anyone who believes in freedom of speech is a closeminded man who has had no experience with rape in reality? well thats kind of cocky and overgeneralizing. btw im a girl… who was raped. that girl was an idiot. she payed to go to a performance by daniel tosh and expected him not to talk about  something controversal? what? tell me how that makes sense. please. i would love to hear your explanation. oh wait no i wouldn’t.

            • URAhole says:

              Nice try you are not a woman and you haven’t been raped. Despicable of you to try and pass just to prove a point.

            • Ben Perez says:

              I agree, it’s not like comedians go on stage and spit out rape jokes, everyone gets picked on a bit, she overreacted to a JOKE!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you never been to a comedy show at which an audience member heckled the performed?  Far more often than not, the comedian attempts to shut them up by ridiculing them in some way.

        I have no problem with her not finding his joke funny, or even hating the joke or Tosh himself because of it.  But there is simply no question that if you want to effectively get a comedian to stop telling jokes about a topic, heckling is simply not going to get the job done.  All it will do – and this goes for any heckler at any comedy show responding to jokes about any topic – is give the comedian a reason and ammunition to go after that audience member personally.

        The most effective way to change a comedian’s line of jokes, by far, is to simply not laugh.  If you’re right, and the joke isn’t funny, and everyone would find it too offensive to laugh, then the room will fall silent, and nothing is more effective at indicating that a comedian’s joke isn’t funny than silence.

    13. Tosh.o may not always be very diplomatic or tactful but he is funny and should never be taken seriously. He is, however, much better than the religious nutcases who constantly remind everyone how some poor guy was tortured and killed on a cross thousands of years.ago.

    14. Measley3 says:

      Personally, I don’t appreciate rape humour. I don’t think it’s funny and I don’t find it appealing, so it’s alarming to me just how prominent it is. I can’t believe he has to scramble to remove all references of rape from his premiere episode or that they were there in the first place. It seems so odd to me. Granted, I prefer cleaner/less offensive stand up comedy, so maybe this has been happening all along and I just haven’t been privy to it.

    15. Lucas says:

      All of you are idiots, if you don’t like his jokes then why watch him or pay any attention to them? No one is making you do that, instead your wasting your time criticizing a comedian of all people. 

    16. Cblase77 says:

      Just throwing out there that the staff of the comedy club later said that the woman lied about what happened, that in fact Tosh asked what the audience would like to hear about, someone replied with “Rape!”, the woman said “That’s not funny!” and Tosh said, “Wow, sounds like she’s been raped by like five guys”. She then watched the rest of his set and only went to complain when it was over. So, just make sure to look through the entire story before you judge.

    17. Basketballtacos2 says:

      as a rape victim, yes, the part about her getting raped by five guys right now part was bad, but the point that tosh was trying to make was that you have to see the humor in horrible things. people make jokes about the holocaust, 911, and racism. i saw nothing wrong with the joke that he told, and i have even made some rape jokes myself. this is not to trivialize rape, or to make light of a serious matter. this whole thing, in my opinion, was exceptionally unneccessary and should be forgotten about. why was this girl at a daniel tosh comedy show in the first place? he is known for being border line offensive? she knew what she was getting into before she went and she would’ve been smart to just not go.
      daniel tosh is just a nice guy trying to make a living. if comedians do not talk about controversial things, they lose their relevence and no one watches them anymore. this whole thing was ridiculous.

    18. torrence says:

      Its not rape if you yell “surprise!”

      … whatever happened to freedom of speech?

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