Dapper Laughs should not be censored
He is sexist, but that doesn’t matter
Last month The Tab Cardiff broke a news story about Dapper Laughs.
Since then a simple narrative to ban Dapper, real name Daniel O’Reilly, from performing in the Union has snowballed into a crusade that could well end with O’Reilly’s public torture and execution. Or has that happened already?
There is no debate as to whether or not Y Plas should have played host to the comedian’s show. A series of stringent Anti-Lad Culture and Zero Tolerance policies negate that.
Combined with the ban on Blurred Lines being played in any of the Union’s bars and you have a recipe for hypocrisy stronger than a can of special brew.
Dapper Laughs’ brand of comedy is sexist. That is unquestionable. But it is black comedy, which by its very nature is offensive. It is an art form. It pushes boundaries, provokes thought and amusement. The eloquence and skill of a comedian is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if you don’t find them funny, that’s no reason to censor them.
Russell Brand tells people not to vote, Micky Flanagan deplores the demise of fingering. Katherine Ryan’s recent Live At The Apollo gig featured “sit on his dick and rip it off” as a punch line, and Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights. Well. Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights.
There are appropriate platforms for this format of comedy. Whether it is in comedy clubs or on the telly, indeed, the two latter examples above are television shows. O’Reilly used both of these channels for his comedy, as well as mastering social media in a way which had not been done before. Dapper has been using the same material, over the same channels, but he has been singled out and banned.
“Oh, but his comedy incites and encourages sexual harassment and violence.” No it doesn’t. If an individual is misguided enough to believe that publically deriding or assaulting women is acceptable then the issue lies with them. If someone is ignorant of comedy, the answer is not to remove the comedy; it is to remove the ignorance. Mollycoddling these people by censoring a comedian is an ineffective and short sighted solution.
The real solution is far less glamourous. It doesn’t get you Facebook likes and Twitter followers, and it certainly garners less interest from the national media. It is education. Because if someone knows from day one that treating a woman in that manner is unacceptable, they will not go out and do so after watching a six second vine.
Pandering to a minority group of activists who believe that censorship is the remedy to another minority group, ignorant in equal measure, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And let’s not forget the group stuck in the middle of this unholy shit storm – the apathetic majority. It might surprise you to hear that most people don’t actually care, and you haven’t heard from them because by the very nature of their apathy they do not sign petitions or respond to email surveys. Indeed, they’re probably the most informed actors in this entire colostomy bag of a ‘debate’. They’ve read countless tweets and statuses decrying Dapper Laughs, they just understand the concept of comedy.