Austin Comedian Curtis Luciani writes about Daniel Tosh’s rape joke incident at the Laugh Factory.
My concise interpretation of his points:
1) Rape is far more prevalent than men think it is: imagine having your dick cut off and being emasculated by a comedian.
2) There is a difference between doing comedy and bringing pain and hurting someone.
In order for #2 to happen, the comic’s words must be presented as very real and outside the realm of comedy. The offensiveness has nothing to do with it; the comedian has stepped outside of art and is doing whatever he/she can to hurt someone else: in this case, the closest weapon Tosh picked up was remarking how funny rape would be.
If my interpretation of Curtis’s argument is correct, then how prevalent rape is or how much trauma a rape victim undergoes is no longer a variable in the equation if the comic stops his act with the intent on destroying someone.
So if this is the case, if Daniel Tosh did indeed step outside of the realm of art to hurt someone else, and his behavior is wrong.
As far as deciding whether material is untouchable or not? That isn’t for the audience or other comics to decide; When you step into the comic’s arena, you are free to choose what you think about the material; you can hate it, you can hate him, but you can’t say that the material is off limits.
More at Reddit under the username MackyTrajan.