Demetri Martin and Rape Culture

I am sad. Very Sad. I had been looking forward to “Important Things with Demetri Martin” for ages. Last Wednesday my wait was over, and I could bask in the silliness of one of my favorite comics! Or so I thought.

Alas, though it had some funny parts, many jokes weren’t up to his normal level of funny. This alone would not prompt a negative response as I was a huge fan girl and would defend a poor joke in the name of “I-want-your-DNA-for-my-baby-ness.” But check out the tense in that last sentence. “Was.” It really pains me to say this, but I don’t think I can support this new endeavor by my former hero. I remember being upset a couple of times by jokes but the one that sticks out in my mind nearly a week later was about a “time pimp”.

a regular guy finds a time machine and goes throughout history “seducing” womyn to be a time pimp. “Seducing” is in quotes because it is really rape. at least a couple of the circumstances. Rape by circumstance of poverty.

The “regular guy” goes to Ireland during the potato famine with a sack of potatoes. He then approaches a womyn and comments on the famine and shows her his sack of potatoes. She is starving and in need of food and she removes her clothes and we learn he successfully “bangs” her.

This is supposed to be funny? A women is forced into sexual acts through her poverty and no one calls it rape, they call it comedy.

I feel so let down, I feel so betrayed. How could such a clever, kind person be such an ass. When I got to meet Demetri two years ago I was struck by his kindness and patience, speaking to every single fan, trying to sign each individual’s shwag in a unique special way.

I understand we are all products of our culture, but this is someone who had the audacity to drop out of Yale Law School when they had a full scholarship so they could follow their dreams. This is someone who is looks at the world to find juxtapositions and the odd and eccentric in everyday situations. He does this for a living. how could he be so misogynistic?

I just wish I could talk to him about it. In my silly fan-girl-ness I keep hoping there is some sort of explanation. but how do you explain making rape jokes on the premiere of your national TV show?


I suppose it shows a lot about the culture.  That if someone is starving, and you have food, it is ok to withhold that food until they perform sexual acts.  This is normal, this is rape culture.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for writing about this, because I had the same reaction to it. Fiance and I settled in to watch this show, anticipating intense humor, and this sketch left me feeling really betrayed.

    • Yeah… It’s really hard for me to stop being a loyal fan. It took me an entire week to finally write this up as I felt so conflicted. But, blind loyalty leads to bad things… so I have to use all the information I’m given to make my decisions.

      I was listening to my CD of his and i was shocked at how much I just filtered out. Too often he uses the word “gay” to mean bad. Like “a dream catcher works if your dream is to be gay.”

      Ugh….. but If I never watched entertainers who were assholes I’d be left with so few. Damn conflicting needs. I want to be true to my convictions, but occasionally I need to turn off. blah….

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