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Patton Oswalt Weighs in on Rape Joke Controversy in Blog Post

"I had my viewpoint, and it was based on solid experience, and it…was…fucking…wrong."

June 17, 2013  |  5:00pm
Patton Oswalt Weighs in on Rape Joke Controversy in Blog Post

While Patton Oswalt has proved to be one of the internet’s most beloved comedians, he’s also become one of the most articulate voices in the field when it comes to social commentary, proved by his reaction to the Boston bombings. This weekend Oswalt posted an extensive blog denouncing his previous stance on rape culture and the hotly contested Daniel Tosh joke that landed the comedian in hot water.

It’s a complicated topic that many could talk in circles about for hours on end. However, Oswalt’s most recent blog post succinctly sums up his new stance on the topic. In a piece that ranges from comedic hacks stealing jokes to the supposed necessity of hecklers, Oswalt ties together his own commentary on misunderstood realms of our own social sphere.

Oswalt’s blog recounts his experience as a young comedian who brushed shoulders with “shameless” comedians that proudly flaunted stolen jokes. Oswalt goes on to highlight those comedic thieves that he’s blasted since his rise to fame, ranging from priests to valedictorians, but emphasizes that he’s not attacking these people, just the mindset that surrounds these incidents.

Acts like Daniel Tosh, Louis C.K. and even comedic legend Lenny Bruce have long been known to take controversial, devastating topics like racism, sexism—or even rape—and transform that heinous act into on-stage material.

When Tosh caught flak for his open mic debacle—in which he stated that “rape is hilarious”—many comedians, mostly male, vocalized their opinions on the rape discussion in the comedy world. Oswalt in particular took to an anti-rape culture stance, as he puts it “I’ve never wanted to rape anyone, so why am I being lumped in as the enemy?”

But as Oswalt continues to delve deeper into cultural issues, he begins lifting the comedic veil set forth by a boisterous stage show or a ridiculous video with The Coup. Beneath this celebrity lies an individual open enough to admit a mistake when he sees one.

“Just because I find rape disgusting, and have never had that impulse, doesn’t mean I can make a leap into the minds of women and dismiss how they feel day to day, moment to moment, in ways both blatant and subtle, from other men, and the way the media represents the world they live in, and from what they hear in songs, see in movies, and witness on stage in a comedy club.”

Read the whole post here.

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