[Content note for rape]
During their opening monologue at the Golden Globes last night, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler went there: They went straight in with a series of very direct jokes about the rape allegations against Bill Cosby.
The video is online; the transcript is below.
AMY POEHLER. In Into the Woods, Cinderella runs from her prince, Rapunzel is thrown from a tower for her prince, and Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Billy Cosby.
[Gasps and laughter from the crowd]
TINA FEY. You know, actually, I don’t know if you guys saw this on the news today, but Bill Cosby has finally spoken out about the allegations against him. Cosby admitted to a reporter, [dropping her voice in a pretty lousy impersonation of Billy Cosby] “I put the pills in the people.” [More laughter from the crowd] The people did not want the pills in them.”
AP. No, Tina, that — hey…
AP [shaking her head]. That’s not right. That’s not right. It’s more like, [in a somewhat more accurate Cosby impersonation] “I got the pills in my bathrobe and I put ’em in the people.”
TF. You’re right. It’s gotta be, like, [again with the Cosby] “I put the pills in the hoagies.”
AP. Yeah. That’s it. That’s fair.
TF. That seems fair.
When a rape joke is at the expense of the alleged* rapist, and not the victims, is it okay? Or if not okay, at least better? Is making a joke about a rapist automatically making light of rape? Would his victims (who now number, I believe, 24) hear this joke and feel dismissed or affirmed?
What’s strong about this joke is the boldness in asserting This fucker did this. He drugged these women. It wasn’t a comment on rape accusations — it was a comment on rape. And maybe I’m just reading things into this — maybe I just don’t want to believe that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler really think that this whole thing is legitimately fodder for jokes — but I’m also getting a sense that they were going for the gasps more than the laughs, taking an opportunity to say, Here’s your guy, Hollywood.
I’d say my own reaction was much like Jessica Chastain’s as shown in the crowd reaction shot — hand-over-the-open-mouth, half-laugh, half-cringe, additional half-surprise that they went there. And at the same time, impressed — impressed that on national TV, at one of Hollywood’s favorite self-congratulatory events, they came out and said, in essence, Fuck this guy. I just hope it wasn’t at the expense of his victims, or any others. But then, I’m a humorless feminist.
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