Comedy isn’t a Defense for Harassment Andy Dick
American comedian Andy Dick was recently charged for groping a woman on the streets of Los Angeles. But that was not just it. After this latest incident, some previous videos resurfaced. And Andy Dick is doing something as pathetic as this again.
One of the videos contains scenes from an episode of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ from 2007. Andy Dick is seemed to be rubbing Ivanka Trump’s legs in it. The other video is from a 2005 Comedy Central Roast in which the comedian is grabbing Pamela Anderson’s breasts. Both the clips are disgustingly creepy, but Andy Dick does not seem ashamed over his actions.
In the clip from Comedy Central, Andy Dick walked behind the former Baywatch star and groped her breasts. After touching and squeezing them, he claimed that Pamela Anderson could not feel a thing. But her response said otherwise. In the other clip with Ivanka Trump, both the comedian and the President’s daughter were attending Kimmel’s show as his guests. During the show, Andy Dick rubbed Ivanka Trump’s knees asking if she played up the glitter on her legs. On this, the host reacted telling Andy Dick to stop and warning him that Donald Trump will kill him.
About this incident, Kimmel later shared that they had to kick Andy Dick off the set. He said,
Andy did a segment, he was a little out of it. She (Ivanka) came out… he wanted a big, wet kiss. It was time for Andy to go, so I escorted him out by his feet.But, he’s Andy. He’s not upset. He’s not apologetic. He’s just nutty. He always makes me a little uncomfortable. You have no idea what he’s going to do next.
Considering the behavior of Andy Dick, anybody would obviously get embarrassed. But surprisingly, he is not even apologetic. In 2017, Andy Dick shared a screenshot of the Ivanka Trump video on Instagram. He attempted to justify his behavior. The comedian has been charged with similar sexual assault incidents numerous times and has even been arrested and sued on multiple occasions on groping charges.
What might be the only excuse for Andy Dick’s despicable acts is that he is a comedian. We are well aware that comedians generally have taken over the habit of making anything and everything a joke. As much as we all love having a good old laugh at something funny, some comedians have been crossing limits and exploiting situations. Andy Dick is not the first one to do so. Louis CK and Aziz Ansari, both of who were popular comedians as well have been charged with sexual misconduct cases in the past as well. But despite allegations, the public continues to love them. Maybe it’s time to realize that for a joke to be funny, it does not necessarily have to be offensive to someone.
We saw multiple comedy tropes in the past that were hilarious at the time but now are just plain offensive. “Blackface” trope was seen as something comical at a time when it was okay to dehumanize people of color and deny them basic human rights. Homophobia was portrayed as a witty joke in so many sitcoms of the nineties such as Friends because people weren’t accepting of the LGBT community then. Mocking male for being feminine and females for being masculine was a general trend with many TV shows and movies and transgenders were shown as abnormal people only written in the scene for the sake of a good joke. All these offensive things were deemed okay and even funny because the culture at that time supported it.
Similarly, when a funny guy “jokingly” touches a woman in inappropriate ways without knowing her too well is seen as hilarious because you know Boys will be Boys. Men were entitled to do whatever they wanted and could justify their horrible acts by hundreds of excuses and the too tolerant society of that time just accepted that without question. But times have certainly changed. It is no longer okay to harass or bully women just because you have power or you think of it as a joke.
People like Andy Dick need to realize that the fact that their job is to make a joke about things is in no way an excuse to commit harmful acts against anyone. In no way can harassment be justified. If we can’t understand this then have we really learned anything from the #MeToo Movement?