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In Case You Haven’t Heard Yet, Martin Freeman Made a Rape Joke


Martin Freeman has a history of saying some pretty offensive stuff. The latest in the long line: Asked by an interviewer as part of a The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug press junket whether he’d prefer to date an elf, a hobbit, or a dwarf, he said elf. OK, OK. I’d go with hobbit, but seven meals a day isn’t for everyone. Different stokes for different folks.

And then came the rape joke.

Interviewer: And the height difference doesn’t matter?
Freeman: Not at all. I’ve got a ladder. It’s fine. And I’ve got drugs. I could just make them [here he makes a hand motion that looks to me like the elf would be falling over] —y’know. Slip them something in their goblet. Some will get offended by that now. Cause they’ll call it *insert actual air quotes, eye roll* ‘rape’ or whatever. But, um, you know. For me, it’s a helping hand. Maybe I should stop talking.

Or maybe you should’ve stopped talking after “I’ve got a ladder. It’s fine.” Y’know, before you started talking about drugging people. There’s been a metric ton of backlash against this quote on Tumblr, where The Hobbit, Sherlock, and Freeman himself have huge fanbases. In response to (justified) critiques of Freeman’s statement, I actually saw someone say “No, he’s just talking about giving the Elf a potion to make them shorter! We’re looking at Alice in Wonderland, not a date rape drug!”

But make no mistake. Freeman is joking about “slipping something” into someone’s drink, which implies they’re not aware of it, so he can sleep with them. That would be a rape joke. And not a rape joke like this one by Wanda Sykes, where rape culture is the butt of the joke. Nope. Freeman’s is at the expense of the presumed victim. He says a lot of crazy things in interviews, which can be fun and refreshing. But “Isn’t drugging someone so you can have sex with them funny, LOLOL?” takes it too far.

The subject of rape jokes is one where there’s a lot of disagreement. Is it ever OK to make them? What if the subject of the joke, as in the Wanda Sykes example above, isn’t the actual rape or the victim of rape but rapists and rape culture? And, of particular relevance in this case (people with more knowledge than I have written thousands upon thousands of words on the intersection of comedy and offensiveness, but of all the reactions I’ve seen to Freeman’s joke none of them have been that they thought it was legitimately funny): If someone whose work you enjoy makes a joke such as the one above, how does, or should, that affect how you approach them and the rest of their work in the future?

The comment section, as always, is open.

(via: Jezebel)

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  • Kathryn (@Loerwyn)

    Uuuuuuuuuuugggggghhhhhhhhhh

  • Calum Syers

    As much as I like his work (all the way back to The Office), I’ve been aware that he’s somewhat of a bad person since his comments on Lucy Liu being a dog.

  • sharmylae

    glad to see you guys mention this. i may be able to still enjoy his performances, but like with jennifer lawrence, you get none of my celebrity love. saving that for people who actually give a shit about how they present themselves.

  • Calum Syers

    Just out of interest, what do you not like about Jennifer Lawrence?

  • http://pontoonification.blogspot.com/ AverageDrafter

    Now I’m totally not going to see those crappy movies… oh wait. I was never going to see those crappy movies.

    You can pull off a successful rape joke (and its possible, see This is the End among others), but it takes skill and understanding of what you are trying to accomplish, not some idiotic off the cuff remark.

    And it will never involve air quotes OR eye rolls.

  • Oliver Jonas Queen

    Ok….playing devils advocate here. Is it really that bad considering he was talking about a fictional character? You cant rape an elf folks…because elves arent real. Plus,he said this during a press junket when he was probably tired as hell and just slipped up and started talking before his brain was in gear. Can we just let this one slide? Or do we have to ruin the mans career and boycott his work and label everyone who hires him from this point forward as a horrible enabler of elf rapists?

  • Anonymous

    This is why I prefer not to find out stuff about my favourite actors – 9 times out of 10 they crush me!
    (Exception to the rule: Hiddleston)

  • TheFeminineMissGeek

    See, those comments to me seemed to be dryly sarcastic. Calling an obviously gorgeous woman ugly, she soooo hideous, such a dog /s. But this…? Dammit, Freeman.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Would it have been worse if he made the same statement about an actual human being? Sure, but this is still a really terrible thing to have said and it seems he knew exactly what he was saying because he said the whole “people would call it rape” bit. Should we boycott? That’s up to individuals and not suggested here but it would be nice if he owned up to it and made a public apology.

  • jbod

    So, to be clear, I could talk about raping a woman, as long as I didn’t mention a specific woman, since it’s all theoretical?

    I don’t think we should boycott and ruin, but we should point a finger to it.

  • http://thescienceofobsession.tumblr.com/ R.O.U.S.

    With Martin’s lack of filter, I say it’s surprising he made it this far into the Hobbit/Sherlock junket without a comment like this. Smooth sailing was too much to ask for.

  • Rob Payne

    Indeed. In This is the End, the joke is clearly on the guys for being so stupid. Emma Watson swinging an axe at their heads is the punch line.

    The only leeway I’d give Freeman, in this particular instance, is that these were unlikely prepared remarks and off-the-cuff humor doesn’t always land the way we hope. It certainly doesn’t fall into the Duck Dynasty rubric of expounding on longheld beliefs. Supremely unfortunate, though. It really, really isn’t even close to being funny.

    The fan who thinks it was about making the elf shorter is, just, well, deluding themselves.

  • HamsterMasterSamster

    It all comes down to that old comedy adage – punch up, not down.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Calling out an actor on something bad he says =/= trying to ruin his career. Please don’t derail.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about this one. He was talking about raping an elf, which is a group of people that doesn’t even exist, so the link between this and violence against women isn’t as obvious as the usual rape joke. Still, it’s hard to deny that the joke is tasteless and inappropriate. I think I’ll put this in the “strike one” column and remember this incident if something similar happens with him in the future.

  • Rob Payne

    It’s doubtful his career will be ruined by this. It isn’t like the Hobbit 3 will excise him from the final cut, and even if that was the last movie he ever made (it won’t be), he’d be rich — rich as Nazis — for the rest of his life.

    But focusing on the fictional character aspect diminishes the very real offense people can take to that kind of unenlightened joke. It isn’t really the terribly unfunny “joke” that’s even the most offensive part, it’s the idea that slipping somebody a mickey (or a roofie, whatever kids are calling it these days) isn’t rape. It is rape. 100%. Suggesting otherwise is way uncool and deserves all the “boo-urns” people can muster until he rectifies that.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    Now, wait. Patrick Stewart is another exception.

  • sharmylae

    Making fun of fat people my dressing as a fat witch for Halloween, saying bisexual people don’t exist, trans phobia. I just can’t fawn over her with crap like that.

  • Rob Payne

    Look to the court jester. He made fun of the King, not the peasants.

  • Rob Payne

    Citations needed.

  • Calum Syers

    Also, Nathan Fillion seems fairly genuine. There are rumours of him being a prima dona on the set of Castle, but there are much, much worse things for celebrities to be. Plus, they’re only rumours.

  • Guymelef

    Jennifer Lawrence made fun of fat people? The same woman who was featured in a clip on this very site a couple weeks ago for her very positive reaction to Hollywood expectations of female beauty and body shape? Weird.

  • Agents Of The Valley

    Martin does some black humor, this obviously not the first time he’s done this.
    People calling for a public apology don’t want people push boundaries.
    The line “Cause they’ll call it *insert actual air quotes, eye roll* ‘rape’ or whatever”
    is literally markings of that sort of humor, switch out the term for any horrible thing and it’s the formula for that style of joke.

  • Anonymous

    I could’ve sworn that she had a recent interview where she was speaking against “fat” and how the media should take responsibility on that.

  • Anonymous

    Put me in the “Meh” category. I can’t think of a single person I know that hasn’t made a rape or some other off color joke, none of whom would actually rape or murder someone (for example, my boyfriend and his siblings joke about incest with each other, though they would never actually have sex with each other). Honestly, it sounds like he was just babbling and probably already has foot in mouth disease, so it’s no big deal.

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    People should be held accountable for the things they say. There’s no justification for “letting this one slide” and if that means people choose to not support his acting career based on their convictions, that reaction is simply the reasonable and adult thing to do.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    You’re going to have to explain that a bit more. By “black humor” do you mean….? And you lost me at “insert actual air quotes, eye roll” because you can type quotation marks, you know that, right? Can you please clarify?

  • Guymelef

    Joking about incest is a far cry from rape jokes.

    Sidebar: I think you should start hanging around with new people.

  • Matt Pattavina

    maybe someone slipped him something before the interview

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    yeah, saw this, it went from an innocent question about dating to a situation in which Martin voluntarily turns it into raping an elf :| like.. wow.

  • blissfulslavery

    Taking “dressing like a fat witch” to mean “making fun of fat people” seems like looking for a reason to be offended. Her costume doesn’t say all fat people are witches, or all witches are fat. It’s just a fat witch costume. If a fat person were wearing it to appear fatter, would you still have this issue?

  • Anonymous

    I need a dose of Patrick Stewart right now to cheer myself up after this.

  • Calum Syers

    This. So much, this.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    I dunno man. Incest and Rape seem to be in the same lowest-of-the-low to me.

  • Guymelef

    I wouldn’t have the highest opinion of incest, but at least one can presume it is consensual. At least, that is the definition of incest in my head. Otherwise it’s sexual assault. Right?

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    it went from an innocent question about dating to a situation in which Martin voluntarily turns into raping an elf, it doesn’t matter that we’re talking about fictional characters, he’s making a joke about rape – rape isn’t ficitonal, rape is real and is something that is happening right this very moment to thousands of people around the world. right now, think about it. Does it seem like a good joke now? don’t defend assholes like this.

  • Laszlo

    I can actually kinda see it as making fun of people who wouldn’t consider that rape, but it’s kinda ambiguous.

  • Anonymous

    Incest is not consensual more often than not.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not going to boycott The Hobbit because there are positive people in it who I wish to support (examples: Ian McKellen, Evangeline Lilly). But Freeman shouldn’t just get a pass on this just because the victim of the joke is fictional.

  • Guymelef

    Point taken. Clumsy definition and views amended.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    well maybe the elf shouldn’t wear those fancy elf clothes. Green means go people. Clearly she was asking for it.

  • PurpleWillow

    For me personally it was the bi-phobia, treating OCD as a joke and calling her cat (who is female but apparently acts more masculine) Chaz Bono.

  • Agents Of The Valley

    Doing the air quote is a way of saying what you’re really thinking, Martin was playing up this darker humor for comedic effect.

    ‘I went to jail for the stupidest thing, technically ‘murdering’ is something against the rules, I didn’t get told about the update to the rulebook’

    It’s playing a character, Martin might be new to a lot of the Americans but he’s known to push buttons, it’s the really dark senses of humor that the brits have but everybody has this ideal look of a person and when something goes against that ideal, people get angry. He’s a real person not who he portrays on-screen and documented life.

  • Calum Syers

    In all honesty, I had no idea about these things (the only things I see about JLaw are the really positive things, either here or elsewhere). Thanks for the heads up.

  • Jon E. Christianson

    Re: the people asking for evidence (not sharmylae).

    In an interview with Rolling Stone, she said as a tomboy as a kid that “she was so d*key.” In an interview that’s no longer online, she referred to Mystique’s bisexuality as a “lesbian phase.” And, on the Ellen Show, she talked about how her female cat was acting masculine, so she renamed it Chaz Bono.

    It’s important to engage people and things critically. Jennifer Lawrence, nor anyone else, is perfect, so we should accept both the good (of which there is a lot) and the bad.

    I like Jennifer Lawrence. But I can accept that she’s said problematic things, demand better, and be critical. As should everyone (be critical of the things you love, not necessarily like JLaw, that’s an individual thing).

  • Anonymous

    Incest is just one the many, many examples of bad taste jokes the do. Off color/bad taste jokes = I need new friends? Really? If someone crosses a line then they get called out, they don’t get burned at the stake.

    We’re having a Geek Gods themed murder mystery party and I guarantee you there will be a fair amount off color humor. Considering the two that are playing Apollo and Artemis are dating.

  • Kenneth England

    I’m getting weary of the “person says something dumb and offensive, therefore they must be horrible” kneejerk reaction that goes on nowadays. Sometimes, people just say dumb things. From the “maybe I should stop talking” at the end, it sounds to me like he realized he had said something dumb and offensive immediately. (And, to be fair, if I had to endure the endless barrage of idiotic questions they get during these junkets, I probably would too at some point.) Should he have been more respectful? Absolutely. Should he apologize? Sure, why not. Does the fact that he said something dumb and offensive make him a horrible human being? Not necessarily.

  • Sabrina

    Yeah, at the moment I still love The Hobbit movies more than I dislike Freeman. It probably would be different if he was the sole star – but this is a huge ensemble cast and Bilbo isn’t really the main/only reason why I enjoy these movies. But omg, I wish Freeman would just stfu!

  • Dan Griffin

    I always knew Hobbits were a bunch rapists.

  • Rebecca Pahle
  • PurpleWillow

    Don’t worry, it’s really easy to miss half this stuff. I only found out after seeing the interview where she refers to OCD as being cool and quirky =P

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    I think there’s a huge difference between dark humor and just plain inappropriate/offensive. I’m loath on giving examples because that’s just going to give birth to a whole bunch of other potentially despicable words that can be mis-communicated, but however fine the line between Dark Humor and Innappropriate is at times, in this case, it’s not terribly fine. It’s pretty glaring, and the fact that a ton of us can see it and Martin can’t is just sad. He’s trying to sound “ironic” or something, but it’s just that he’s clueless. Clueless. And that’s on him. He needs to learn the broader concept of the difference between Funny, Dark, and Rape Joke. It’s not a suggestion, it’s something we expect of educated human beings.

  • Katie Utke

    Ian McKellan is another exception. I’d put Anne Hathaway on that list as well.

  • Anonymous
  • Doryen Chin

    It’s a bad and problematic joke, and it isn’t the first time he’s said something problematic.

    It just strikes me as ignorant, rather than malevolent. I think everyone should be called out if they say something problematic, but the reaction against Martin seems more like an old protestant witch hunt.

  • Agents Of The Valley

    Looks like we’ll never see eye to eye, you’ve got your opinions and I’ve got mine and they differ. I just put forward my side and doesn’t seems to be totally understood in the medium of text. We’ll have to call this agree to disagree. Plus the line it’s something we expect of educated human beings is awfully pretentious and pretty much makes this conversation impossibly to continue.

  • Louis Gonzales

    When something like this happens, I just go back and watch this video from Red Letter Media: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxfDnq9ORIs

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    Wow.

  • Jim

    ^This.

  • Katie Utke

    And J.K. Rowling.

  • Curuniel

    Did he realise he said something dumb and offensive, or did he realise that there’d be a backlash over it and image-wise he shouldn’t have spoken his mind there? My feeling is for the latter, but obviously, lacking context.

  • Anonymous

    Yes yes yes. What he said was thoughtless and insensitive, but I’m not willing to grab my torch and pitchfork to burn him at the stake quite yet. While I don’t think “that’s just the way he is” counts as a valid excuse for being offensive, I also don’t think heaping insults on him and calling for him to be fired from all his current/future jobs is the right answer, either. Have someone pull him aside and POLITELY explain why what he said was wrong. Educate, don’t attack. I’d still be curious to know if he said anything else after the cut, although I think we’d probably have heard about it by now if there had.

  • Anonymous

    Yes yes yes. What he said was thoughtless and insensitive, but I’m not willing to grab my torch and pitchfork to burn him at the stake quite yet. While I don’t think “that’s just the way he is” counts as a valid excuse for being offensive, I also don’t think heaping insults on him and calling for him to be fired from all his current/future jobs is the right answer, either. Have someone pull him aside and POLITELY explain why what he said was wrong. Educate, don’t attack. I’d still be curious to know if he said anything else after the cut, although I think we’d probably have heard about it by now if there had.

  • Daniel Aubrey White

    It doesn’t really seem fair to deem, “rape,” an off-limits topic of joking when everything else is up for grabs. Everything. We received some Cards Against Humanity in the mail the other day describing in detail an orgy between Jesus, Moses, Shiva, and Buddha. It was the most offensive thing I’ve ever read, with full intention to offend as deeply as a joke could. Has anyone made a fuss about it? No, because we’re expected to take such things in stride. If it offends me, I’m supposed to calm down. I’m supposed to have a sense of humour about things I’d rather be offended by. If one of us has to do that, all of us have to, or else we’d need to band together to stamp out any form of comedy that could offend any group. All mildly offensive humour would need to be banned, in case it offended. It’s either that, or we learn to tolerate jokes that offend us in the name of having jokes we can laugh at.

    Also, how can we single out Martin Freeman for one stupid comment while ignoring comedians like Jimmy Carr and Anthony Jeselnik, who tell jokes that go much farther?

  • Daniel E. Jacobs

    here is the bit, he KNEW what he was saying was wrong… so it isn’t like “oops I wasn’t thinking I am so sorry…” is going flying… the question is can we separate the art from the artist, and the bigger question is should we? I know there are bands I will NOT see because they are nitwits, and their are authors I won’t read for the same reason… I won’t ever ask to ban their stuff… but if an artist is good at their craft can we then take what they do when they aren’t being artist but being nitwits and running off at the mouth, can we just forget that? or do we have to say “Nope you have this place where a lot people hear you, can have to careful about not being stupid.”

  • http://www.geekosystem.com/ Victoria McNally

    Here’s the difference — that orgy between Jesus, Moses, Shiva, and Buddha is never going to happen. But I guarantee you there are actual, living people out there who think it’s perfectly acceptable to drug someone’s drink and have sex with them against their will. So yeah, I’m pretty okay with this particular type of joke about rape being completely off-limits.

    Can’t speak to Anthony Jeselnik or Jimmy Carr, but if either of them gets cast in the new Avengers movie or something, then yeah, their shitty rape jokes will probably show up on this site, too.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    Same could be said of Helen Mirren, who is awesome in so many, many ways, but she has said a couple of problematic things in the past….

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but the idea of a hobbit raping an elf is hilarious.

    When a real-life girl gets drugged at a bar and taken advantage of, no, that’s not funny. But Freeman didn’t say, “Hey, you know what’s comedy gold? That time that real-life girl got drugged at a bar and then taken advantage of!”

    There’s a big fucking difference between twisted humor in a fictional setting and laughing at the expense of actual victims of assault.

    Actual real-life rape: not funny.
    A hobbit raping an elf: comedy gold.

  • Erin Treat

    As Rebecca pointed out though, this isn’t the first time he’s done this. Where do you draw the line?

  • Mina

    Yeah, that’s the thing to me too. With terrible, tasteless jokes of the dead baby joke variety, generally nobody legitimately thinks it’s funny except for obvious psychopaths. But with rape jokes, there usually ARE people who think it’s actually funny, that these hypothetical rape situations have a genuine element of humor in them, and they think it’s perfectly normal to think so. So I generally tend to take a firm stance against rape jokes, because even if the person telling the joke is really, truly joking, it is almost guaranteed that there are several in their audience finding the joke a little TOO humorous and enjoyable. It creeps me out and I’d rather just not be throwing said people that kind of fodder to laugh about.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, because he is obviously SO serious. He just said that to piss people off and, big surprise, it’s working! No, it’s really not okay to say things like that, young people will hear it and some will undoubtedly take it seriously. WELL, if we didn’t give people all this attention for saying ugly things, no one would hear about it AND celebrities wouldn’t have all this initiative to say those things. STOP MAKING IT FREE PUBLICITY! It only encourages people to behave that way.

  • Torrrrrita

    He has made several statements of varying types that would hint that he isn’t exactly the nicest guy around. He’s made sexist and racist remarks about numerous people that he’s met and worked with, and he also made a joke in a recent interview where he said he’d use the Ring to make himself invisible and spy on naked women. That isn’t sketchy to you?

  • Anonymous

    Patrick Stewart has no problems voicing jokes about domestic violence, killing sex workers, or rape as Avery Bullock on American Dad. Not sure why no one ever calls him out for that.

  • Run Amok

    As a Brit, no, that is not actually how it works.

  • Charlie

    I don’t know how to feel. Seems like a really ignorant thing to say and it makes me feel uncomfortable but then I never know whether I’m just being oversensitive.

  • Anonymous

    At 3. I believe everyone living should only be allowed 3 mistakes.

  • Tara Ryan

    Actually, I’ve heard of him acting pretty shitty to a fellow stage actoress.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. As long as you find me a non-”theoretical” Elf. Made up (as in don’t exist) is not the same as non-specific.

  • Anonymous

    I agree it was stupid and tasteless. However, the argument that you can’t joke about something because it happens (or is happening) to people doesn’t hold up. There would be no comedy at all. Most anything is either happening, or has happened, to SOMEone.

  • Anonymous

    Man, the sad thing is that it’s not even indicative of her being a uniquely horrible person. That stuff is pervasive, she’s only unusual for saying it on TV. I have OCD (mild, even) and I hear that quite a bit.

    The Chaz Bono comment too. When I first heard about it I wondered how anyone could remotely think that was remotely OK. But since then I’ve seen (feminist! liberal!) friends make the same “joke”. Ugggghhh.

    I dunno, I just think it’s better to call out the behaviour than to just say “Welp! So-and-so is a jerk, of course they’d say that!” which is such a common response.
    Because it ignores the fact that a lot of people in everyday society see nothing wrong with this stuff. :(

  • jbod

    You Sir/Madam, are a hair splitting ninja.

  • MeatyStakes

    Meh, I have never really much cared for Freeman; but although he so often comes off as an inappropriate asshole, I really don’t think he is a bad person.

    That’s the thing with some assholes; they say really offensive things, but they end up being actually better human beings than a lot of “nice guys”

    I think I’m biased about this though: I have a friend that was like that, but he was a genuinely caring person at the end of the day.

  • HamsterMasterSamster

    I see a lot more disappointment than knee-jerk hatred in the comments here. The anti-”person says something dumb and offensive, therefore they must be horrible” crowd are just as capable of exaggeration and kneejerkery.

    There’s nothing wrong with pointing out these mis-steps. I agree there’s no need to wave pitchforks because half the time it’s ignorance rather than malice that’s responsible, but I do think we need to keep talking about this stuff as individual incidents that contribute to a larger systemic problem.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    there will never be a time when rape is funny. Just like there will never be a time when paedophilia is funny, or racism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia etc etc. None of that shit is funny (especially not when coming from cisgendered, heterosexual white men) and it doesn’t make it comedy because some ignorant fool made a joke about it. The fact that martin holds his hands up to make quotation marks “rape” just shows how insanely idiotic and childish he is, as if what he’s saying can just be a throw away comment if he puts quotation marks around such a horrific issue. He’s simply ignorant of the facts, if he were aware of rape statistics then he wouldn’t be making jokes about it.

  • Anonymous

    Deliberate “martyrdom” from folks doesn’t cause me to cut people slack. In fact, it negates my potential sympathy.

  • Anonymous

    The part people are objecting to wasn’t even a joke. He said “some people might call [putting something in someone's drink in order to force sex with them] “rape” or whatever…” when, uh, that is actually rape. Even Martin Freeman realized he should’ve stopped talking, there’s not much of a defense here.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. The question of whether he’s a horrible person is largely immaterial… you could be a horrible person and still not say something horrible on TV. Plus it makes people less likely to cop to their mistakes. Think how often you hear “I didn’t say something racist/sexist/homophobic/etc., I’m a good person!”

  • Anonymous

    Hmm. If this is an ongoing attitude with him that might paint a different picture. I still think trying to make him understand why this stuff is bad is the right way to go, but if he DOES know better and does it anyway… Ehh. Not sure there’s a lot that can be done in more official/likely-to-get-his-attention ways. He isn’t in anything I care about, though, so it’s easy enough for me to avoid the things he’s in.

  • Eisen

    Never heard about this. Oh please, not Patrick Stewart :(

    So, sad… two actors more I have to delete from the ‘decent human beings’-list.

  • Becky Garbrick

    Richard Armitage is another exception.

  • anny

    I am certain Martin Freeman is trying his damned best to have fans dislike him, he uses profanity like there is no tomorrow, he gives the finger to all and sundry…..I am sure he is so fed up with all the insanity thrown his way from some quarters, that he can’t think of a better way to be disliked. Mind you, he went a bit too far this time!

  • Becky Garbrick

    If it makes you uncomfortable, you’re not being oversensitive. Your feelings and comfort level are always valid.

  • Becky Garbrick

    If it makes you uncomfortable, you’re not being oversensitive. Your feelings and comfort level are always valid.

  • Eisen

    He surely realised that he was talking about raping someone, before the ‘maybe I should stop talking’. He knew what he was saying, because he refered to the audience and the possible backlash.

    I don’t think he is a horrible person, but Freeman lost my sympathy with this statement, and my support in any, whatever form.

  • Eisen

    He surely realised that he was talking about raping someone, before the ‘maybe I should stop talking’. He knew what he was saying, because he refered to the audience and the possible backlash.

    I don’t think he is a horrible person, but Freeman lost my sympathy with this statement, and my support in any, whatever form.

  • Laszlo

    It’s not as bad if it’s just as an actor, and I assume he’s not a writer on it.

  • Emily

    I’m so tired of this.
    Can people I admire and respect not let me down for once?
    I mean no one is perfect and everyone slips up sometimes, but there are things I can forgive and things I can’t.
    And rape jokes like this are really not forgivable to me.
    Please just stop.

  • http://www.seeknewtravel.com/ Kit Whelan

    Really??? I’ve never watched that show (not my thing) but Patrick Stewart is a well-known advocate for women’s rights, especially as it relates to domestic violence since his mother was beaten often by his father. It would be so surprising for him to make a crass joke about it.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    It’s possible that the butt of the joke is HIM, that he means sleeping with an elf is so unlikely he’d have to do something awful to manage it…
    Opinions? Not sure…

  • EB

    Chris Hemsworth, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawerence, and pretty much anyone involved with Doctor Who are on my list (there are exceptions -cough-Eccelston-cough-). There are a few others, but some people have already mentioned them/I can’t remember them off the top of my head.

  • Anonymous

    “No, he’s just talking about giving the Elf a potion to make them shorter! We’re looking at Alice in Wonderland, not a date rape drug!”

    I really wish that was the case, if only because it’s a rather delightful non-sequitor.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    because he’s an actor reading lines not espousing his personal views?

  • jbod

    I think the biggest difference here is that you don’t play cards against humanity with strangers. The people you play with are usually friends, family, or like minded people. They know what to expect, even if it isn’t particularly funny. On the same point, if you buy tickets to go to an Anthony Jeselnik show, you know what to expect. Be offended at your own risk.

    If you played CaH on national TV with millions watching, you’re going to offend a lot of people. Probably more than you won’t. In an ideal world, no one would get offended about anything. This is the real world though. Telling everyone to get over it is just as ridiculous as banning everything. it’s not going to happen.

  • jbod

    3 Words.
    Joseph.

    Gordon.

    Levitt.

  • Anonymous

    Freeman obviously has no idea what Elves are capable of, what strength they possess or how much they can take. If he would he would be frightened that an Elf may have heard him.

  • Stewart Zoot Wymer

    As someone who has been slipped something and has as a result woken up in a strange bed as a result, I find it horrific that someone can say this in public, consciously (he clearly knew he was wrong by lampshading it) and think it will be at all okay. I wonder if he would use this same joke if it had happened to him – it was terrifying for me and I was lucky enough to wake up early (my 6’5″ height made the drug wear off extremely fast.) I really can’t understand how anyone can be flippant around the concept of rape at all and I think anyone in the public eye has a duty to express themselves as an example. Yes, they’re human and can screw up, but this was a deliberate action rather than a slip of the tongue.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    well theres also the fact that elves are highly resistant to poisons and toxins ( see the drinking contest where Gimli gets tanked and Legolas feels a mild buzz for example), so he’d have to put so much in the drink that it’d basically be a glass full of mildly damp powder. Just sayin’.

  • Christine Hudson

    ‘Here’s the difference — that orgy between Jesus, Moses, Shiva, and Buddha is never going to happen.’ Have I missed something??
    Are you telling me that a fictional Bilbo Baggins is actually going to date rape an equally fictional elf????? So are you saying that this Martin Freeman joke is wrong because it IS going to happen??

  • Neil Henriot

    BAN THIS SICK FILTH

  • Ashe

    Anyone who tells you you’re being oversensitive to rape culture needs a slap to the head.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you,if that was meant as a compliment. If not..Hmm… So which would you rather have shooting an arrow at you: a theoretical elf or a “theoretical” (by your definition) archery instructor? It’s not splitting hairs to point out logical fallacies…

  • Anonymous

    I would agree with you. People can call it out. To quote Gandalf: “Who will laugh, I wonder.”

    Not every joke is going to go over well with every audience. Martin was being hyperbolic with “Some will call it rape.” I think most will see that the humor that he was going for was to try and pretend to be a person who would try to pass off a dastardly deed.

  • Christine Hudson

    Oh For Heaven’s Sake!!!!!! If you don’t like Martin’s sense of humour don’t look him up!! ( You must have done a search to get here) His joke was about an elf!!! For those who seem confused between fiction and reality an elf is FICTION, i.e. DOES NOT EXIST IN THE REAL WORLD. If he can’t make a joke about something in fiction, which is never going to happen then the world really has gone politically correctly crazy and I for one want to get off!! I love Billy Connolly too and he has been far more outrageous but equally as funny. It’s a good thing we haven’t all got the same sense of humour as, ( judging by this very limited selection of opinions) this world would be a very boring and humourless place!!

  • Ashe

    When a rape joke makes fun of the victims (who tend to get PTSD, depression and even commit suicide over what happened to them, joy!) rather than the rapists or rape culture, that’s both gross and supporting the problem. Very easy to laugh at something that hasn’t happened to you!

    So, rape jokes are not off-limits, but WHO are you making fun of here?

    The teenage girl who got gang raped by a group of boys, her reputation smeared and her future filled with a lot of therapy, hospital visits, harassment and home-schooling…or the school system for letting the boys get away with it because they have ‘a future’?

    The difference is pretty obvious, dude, so please shove your ‘mild offense’ up your ass.

  • Ashe

    http://yourfaveisproblematic.tumblr.com/post/45661326649/jennifer-lawrence

    She says a lot of stupid shit. Whatever gets those edgy ratings, I guess!

  • Ashe

    I don’t think you have enough question marks

    ???????????????????????????????????????///????/

  • Suzanne Larsen

    I’m waiting for someone to eventually say we need to ban D&D because its set up to be racist against half-orcs

  • Anonymous

    As outspoken as he is about domestic violence, taking any part in making light of it seems hypocritical. Not saying I don’t appreciate the positive things he does do, but there are some problems that I don’t think should go unchecked.

  • Christine Hudson

    So its OK for you to imply shut the f**k up but not for someone to make a joke about a hobbit & an elf??
    Humour is a matter of personal taste and everyone can make their own choice but the amount of foul language in print on this site and others like it from ‘preachers’of moral standards is offensive in the extreme as far as I am concerned and thoroughly hypocritical!
    Political Correctness gone crazy

  • Suzanne Larsen

    so every actor should only be in roles that reflect exactly how they are in real life?

  • Michelle Hunt

    I dunno. I mean, how many times have we said something without even thinking, and immediately regretted it? For me, probably EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE, only there aren’t cameras around to record it. Sometimes people just say things without thinking. Everyone is human, even those people on TV. I think immediately bashing them or assuming they’re an inherently bad person is a little much. Sure, the comment was inappropriate. No, I’m not agreeing with his comment or saying I found it funny or in good taste. But I mean, when actors are having to answer a long line of questions all day long, sometimes they go to sarcastic/dry/even dark
    places with their comments, without even realizing they’re saying things
    out loud. I don’t know. Not gonna stop liking him or watching his films because he took a comment too far.

  • Christine Hudson

    Probably because I want to know when this amazing pairing of Hobbit & Elf is going to take place or am I just being sarcastic – query

  • Christine Hudson

    What a shame I bet while he was saying it he was thinking ‘ I’m going out of my way here just so I let Emily down’ grow up, get a life and stop thinking the world revolves around you

  • Christine Hudson

    Oh! So physical violence is OK though???????????????????????

  • Jon Davis

    Gods….i swear….every actor out there needs to take training in “Holding thy tongue Until the Movie/Show/Appearance is OVER WITH!

  • Eve

    I agree. I should know not to learn about actors as people, because it’s hard to look past the person once you’ve heard them say idiotic things.

  • Gillian Pilgrim

    Sketchy? No. Juvenile? Absolutely.

  • Emily

    Your right this isn’t about me.
    But the thing is for a lot of people a joke like this is a personal affront.
    Martin Freeman may look at this rape joke as a fiction, but for rape victims it is a reality that is very painful. So people need to think twice before saying things like that.

  • Anonymous

    Their sense also appear to have such finely attuned senses that they could preemptively detect the drugs.

  • Anonymous

    I presume that most guys make rape jokes because they have no empathy for how awful rape is. When women complain about such jokes, these guys just think women are humorless buzzkills. Men aren’t enculturated into thinking they could be raped unless they get sent to prison, but even then the sexual power remains with other men.
    If you want guys to stop making tasteless rape jokes, they need to be taught to respect & fear female sexuality. Women taking the high road by not making rape jokes doesn’t register with guys that they should do the same. What’s needed is more crude jokes about raping men to make them realize they’re not immune to rape. Jokes about gelding are also an option although it’s not the same thing.
    Men will complain about women making such jokes but they likely complain about women anyway. Obviously you shouldn’t direct rape jokes at anyone you’d like to keep as a friend. Only when men realize that women can sexually offend them too will they they understand that rape jokes aren’t harmless. (This is not a uinversal quick fix solution.)

  • Suzanne Larsen

    oh I think plenty of men fear female sexuality, hence the centuries old campaign to keep women’s rights firmly under male control. But that’s a topic for another day *laugh*

  • Ashe

    Hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ashe

    Keep putting yourself on the line and supporting rape culture, you politically incorrect champion

    Everyone here at The Mary Sue salutes you

  • Kim LeClaire

    Glad you’re not God. I would be so very dead. Like that mistake I made when I got married at 18…or when I accidentally elbowed that girl at work. Or. Oh my god, that one mistake where I said something and my bf, at the time, beat me. Shut, what about that time I mistakingly washed my friends white shirt with all my blacks..

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.schmitt#!/ David R. Schmitt

    And I’m sure none of them ever told an off colour joke. Don’t delude yourself people.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    “I met Lucy Liu at the Emmy’s who was charming, but very ugly. She’s a dog, come on, she’s a very unattractive woman.”

    Martin Freeman proving why he will always be the inferior Watson. People can argue Cumberbatch vs Miller all day long, but Marty will ALWAYS be inferior to Lucy on every conceivable level.

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    He’s playing an intentionally loathsome character on a TV show–that isn’t him any more than Samuel L Jackson is really the self-hating man he played in Django or Hugh Jackman actually has adamantium plated to his bones…

  • Lisa Stout

    Avery Bullock – Every Ass? – Kind of sounds like he’s setting up a satire of what a complete jerk would be. Kind of like the Jonathan Swift’s treatise on why the Irish should eat their children meant to mock the dismissive attitudes of the wealthy in England. In any case, have not seen the show, so my comment is only based on the name which seems to be a purposeful pun.

  • Lisa Stout

    I should explain. Mr. Swift was hoping the reaction to the treatise would be, “That’s insane and ridiculous, how awful.” In the same way, perhaps, Mr. Stewart hoped to do the same by portraying in an unsympathetic way the type of person he loathed.

  • sharmylae

    thanks. i didn’t mean to imply that anyone should stop liking her, just those things combined are my dealbreakers.

  • Samantha

    I haven’t seen Freeman in anything but the Hobbit, but I enjoy the franchise and it’s disappointing when someone whose work I appreciate pulls a stupid stunt like this. There’s no excuse for it, and it’s not okay, but I am heartened that the comment appears to be off the cuff (as opposed to prepared material he thought about and approved of beforehand), and that he seemed to regret it the moment it came out of his mouth.

    No, that doesn’t make it any less distasteful or rude, but at least he has the sense to know it was over the line and WHY instead of cluelessly wondering why people are so “sensitive.” I would like to hope this means he knows better and can learn something from the backlash. Maybe I’m being too optimistic, eh.

  • Lisa Stout

    It is probably good he’s an actor, could you imagine his antics in a corporate environment? Sometimes I think the creative arts tends to attract social misfits (as well as just plan awesome creative types) – just not all of them are cute social misfits. Ah well. It was a very stupid thing for him to say.

  • James Amaral

    At the same time, it bothers me that people freak out about it. People make off-color jokes all the time. Comedians do it, actors do it, and regular folks do it. Essentially, Martin Freeman is no longer allowed to make Rufie jokes because he’s famous.
    Should he have done it? Probably not.
    Does he deserve the disproportionate amount of flak he’ll probably get? Most likely not either.
    Hope I don’t get a ton of crap for this…. :/

  • Anonymous

    Except that ‘dog’ was a racial slur used by the British to refer to Chinese people during the opium war, and that people of colour have a long history of being treated like and compared to animals. So that comment is a lot more problematic than it appears.

    http://bumblebeejia.tumblr.com/post/37688434271/the-hobbits-martin-freeman-talks-sherlock

  • Reverend Nerd

    Like any other person we may admire, I think it’s best (and always try) to take into account every action/word of our favourite actors when deciding to support their work.

    Do they make a habit of saying blazingly offensive (racist/sexist/homophobic) things? (Easy to determine)
    Are they saying these things just to get a rise or do they genuinely believe the bollocks they’re spewing? (Not always simple to ascertain)
    Have they directly & publically supported causes/charities/movements/laws whose goal(s) are to generally (specifically) make the world a better place? (Usually easy to find out)
    What other qualities do they posses that may counter/negate (not entirely, of course) the inappropriate/offensive things they say/do? (relatively simple to discover)

    In addition to these 4 questions (and any others that might randomly pop into my ever-swirling brain), I also remind myself that I should never conflate the actor with the roles they play. Many Right-leaning gun-happy anti-choice Tea Party-drinking thespians have donned the mantle of sane-thinking decent people (Kelly Grammer as Fraser Crane comes to mind). Then again, many a selfish ignorant jerk ends up playing a selfish ignorant jerk (Adam Baldwin, anyone?)

    My point is this: Whether to continue your fan-love of an actor like Martin Freeman (or Patrick Stewart, as some of you have mentioned) when they say things you strongly disagree with, isn’t always simple.

    As for me, I probably won’t end up seeing Desolation of Smaug (or the final part of The Hobbit trilogy) because of Mr Freeman’s comments (and apparent flippant attitude towards rape). But, that doesn’t mean every LOTR/Freeman fan has to do the same.

  • Anonymous

    You realize an actor, even a starving actor and certainly a reknown one like Stewart, choose the roles they play, and that they have the option of not picking roles? It’s not what the character said, it’s that he thought it was ok to choose to play that character.

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    So where’s the rape joke. I’m sure rape involves something like the old in-out in-out. Did I miss something?

  • Jose

    After this and Simon Pegg’s comments telling people who didn’t like Into Darkness to “f*ck off”, I’m convinced that most of the British sci-fi actors I love are giant douch*bags.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus, you guys’ (the commenters’, not TMS’s) level of apologizing for this guy! He’s made a number of sexist and racist comments, can we just accept that he seems to be a not terribly nice person?

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    “Your right this isn’t about me.”

    No Emily, this is about Elves. Your rape victims are Elves. Have you ever seen Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) by any chance?

  • Anonymous

    I dunno, guys expressing the idea that “multiculturalism is a failure”, which other than being dumb is also a buzz expression of racist movements in northern Europe kind of makes me want to run the other way as fast as possible.

  • Jose

    Maybe it’s because he’s British and they have a different sense of humor? (totally not being serious)

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    Martin Freeman raped Bigfoot.

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    Your comment makes me uncomfortable, Becky Garbrick. Please stop commenting on anything…

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    “…politically incorrect champion.”

    A politically incorrect champion is something to be. A politically incorrect champion is something to be.

    I would like to be a politically incorrect champion when I grow up! LOL.

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    “… but Freeman lost my sympathy with this statement, and my support in any, whatever form.”

    I sure he will miss your support terribly. It is what sustained him in his times of trouble.

  • Jose

    The difference, IMO, is that Stewart’s character is funny and I’ve always viewed that character as satire and that his character sis supposed to be loathsome.

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    .. he’d use the Ring to make himself invisible and spy on naked women.”

    Or forget about the ring and simply become an employer of the NSA.

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    @ Guymelef.

    Arrowe76 just raped you in a figurative sense and you didn’t even notice…

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    Adam Gross. You just psychologically raped Martin Freeman. You disgust me! Asshole…

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    ” Just like there will never be a time when paedophilia is funny, or racism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia etc etc.”

    Just like there will never be a time when Martin Freemanphobia is funny. You are really such a disgusting racist, Adam Gross. I bet it’s because he’s English, you horrible xenophobe.

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    Yes, he needs to constantly be patted upon the head & explained gently & politely why something he already knows is awful is awful. Give me a freaking break. He’s a jerk & his own words prove it. Just b/c he can act/plays your favourite character doesn’t get him a pass.

    I am *tired* of people trying to insist that offenders like him need to have this explained, like he’s a bloody toddler. He’s a grown man of *this* century. He knows racism is bad, he knows rape is bad. So why is it when some white guy people like in a show does stupid shit, they’re suddenly gifted w/ the mental capacity of a 3 year old?

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    “People should be held accountable for the things they say.”

    You are right. Adam Sandler should be held accountable…

  • Janfrans Zuidema

    Since I watched ‘This is the End’ I fantasize about raping Emma Watson. I blame the makers of the film (and all the rape apologists on this site like AverageDrafter & Rob Payne).

  • literary_lottie

    While that “joke” was in SUPREMELY poor taste, I do think he was being facetious and not actually arguing that what he described would not be rape (hence the lampshading).

    That doesn’t excuse the fact that he even went there in the first place, though. He absolutely needs to apologize, and I hope he does – though based on his apparent pattern of saying problematic things, I’m not holding my breath.

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    You know what? For all the people excusing what he said w/ “haven’t we all said something stupid”? You know what? We have & guess what happens? We get called out on that. We get called out & we deal w/ the consequences of being stupid/doing something stupid/behaving in a manner that could be considered stupid. & yes, his stupidity is on a larger scale. You can argue “dark humour” or “off colour” or “that’s just Martin” all you like..but guess what? He still needs to be called out on it. He said it. Now people have the right to choose whether they want to see projects he’s in or not. He’s not above consequences. He can fire out all the disgusting bullshit he wants all day, but the kickback is the result. Part of it is articles like this, that call him out & help people to make informed decisions.

    Just because he’s using a fictional character in his example doesn’t make it less disgusting. When I’ve seen guys talking about how they’d do similar acts to animated females, it’s the same reaction. If you could consider the act of taking away a person’s consent to satisfy yourself a “joke” or “amusing”, you’re disgusting. Hypothetical situation or no. & don’t talk to me about how he should be given a chance; he’s done this repeatedly & he is a grown man. He knows right from wrong. Arguing he needs a gentle explanation is to suggest he is mentally incompetent.

  • Anonymous

    I was under the impression that her Halloween costume was meant to satirize Hollywood’s insane body standards (by which she’s somehow overweight) & the expectation that all women’s costumes be risque.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    I had no idea about this; very disappointed in SirPatStew. And to think I was just using him as a metric for whether Seth MacFarlane was actually progressive or not. Of course, I can’t remember the last time I watched American Dad, or Family Guy for that matter.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    I don’t know about other entries, but I’ve seen the Martin Freeman quotes in his entry there and those are all verifiable from their original sources (like the Daily Mail interview) that are available online. In fact, I originally read them in that interview while looking for pictures of Freeman as a mod to stick in my Pinterest board. I remember that’s the first time I thought: “Wow, Martin Freeman’s pretty ignorant”, I just didn’t know to what extent.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    That’s fair enough. Also, didn’t know that about Kelsey Grammer, or Adam Baldwin (or did you mean Alec Baldwin?).

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Can you please stop trolling? It would really be appreciated.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Ugh, WHAT?! Well, consider JLaw struck off my list of cool people in Hollywood.

  • Anonymous

    Without wishing to defend Freeman (this is clearly an offensive , stupid and really pretty random thing to say), I think there’s some ambiguity in the last bit:

    ‘Some will get offended by that now. Cause they’ll call it *insert actual air quotes, eye roll* ‘rape’ or whatever.’

    I can imagine Freeman meant this with irony – i.e. he knows what he’s just said constitutes rape. He;s trying to emphasise that he’s taking an ironic position on the subject, not actually espousing personal beliefs.

    For example, I might make a joke to a friend like, ‘Ugh I hate people who walk too slowly on the street, I’d happily kill ‘em all. Now those liberal tree-hugger types may call that ‘murder’…’ It’s an ironic way of acknowledging that what you’ve just said makes you come across as having a position which you don’t actually hold on the broad subject, and that you do understand the implications of what you’ve just said. It’s the sort of thing I might add when I know that something I’ve just said comes over more as shocking/intolerant/weird rather than the light-hearted comment it meant it to be.

    Not that that would excuse Freeman in any way. But I feel he realises he said something stupid and made a half-hearted effort to frame it in a way which emphasised that it was an ironic joke.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Well, that one (not to defend it), is probably the common public conflation/confusion of OCD and OCPD. Not that I haven’t flipped out at people (I think the last time was on Kotaku) and pointedly explained the difference. Unfortunately, the similar names probably don’t help. I mean, they can both be debilitating, depending on severity, but compared to my friend with actual OCD, my relatively mild OCPD (or should I say, ‘Anankastic Personality Disorder’) is nothing.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Yeah, my sister just told me about her date rape apologist comments, which are disturbing, especially since she talks about how she had been date raped more than once when she was younger.

  • Anonymous

    Again, a badly misjudged joke – but you surely didn’t take the comment at face value? The joke was that Freeman was really saying ‘Lucy Liu is clearly very beautiful, so it’s funny to call her ugly’.

    There’s a similar joke made on the Firefly commentary ; I think it’s Nathan Fillion talking and when Morena Baccarin appears on screen they joke about her being ‘lovely’ but ‘very homely’: again the joke is that the person in question is obviously stunning.

    I don’t like the joke anyway (because it feels degrading to place such emphasis on the woman’s looks).

  • Anonymous

    I think you’re right – while I detest the comment, I often have a sneaking sympathy for people hauled ‘corss the coals for stupid off-the-cuff remarks because I know if I was in the public eye I’d be disgraced within days for saying something tasteless and idiotic. I mean, you should see how much I agonise over casual text messages.

    In conversation you can say stuff that you can’t in an interview. For instance, if someone said this in real life that I was talking to, I;d call them on it and there’s be a discussion and apology.Not that I’d expect anyone I was friendly with to be quite THIS off-colour about rape.

    Because an interview is one-sided, you say stupid stuff and it goes unchecked and comes across like you’re making pronouncements from the heavens rather than just rambling.

    I think this sort of problem arises when celebs mix up the conversational tone of an interview with an actual conversation and forget that what they say will appear in black and white like a thought-out statement

    Judging by Freeman’s usual demeanor and humor style I’d guess he was going for a self-deprecating ‘hey, what gorgeous elven woman would look twice at little old me/Bilbo. I’d have to drug her – oh shit, did I just say that?’

  • Anonymous

    Well, no. Life isn’t that simple. You can accept he’s not a terribly nice person but others are allowed to have a different opinion.

    In real life everyone has different feelings about people: I might not like someone who others get on with fine. And that’s when we all ACTUALLY KNOW the person.

    Freeman is someone we only know through the media so it’s actually impossible to get a true feeling of what he’s like as a person.

    You’re perfectly entitled to feel that’s he’s a shit but how others feel is up to them.

  • Anonymous

    I certainly think that was the intended meaning, yes. That fits in with Freeman’s usual style of humour/personality.

    I don’t think that makes the joke better – after all it still basically means, ‘this person wouldn’t consent so I’d have to force her’.

    But I think it was meant to be a joke at his own expense rather than a ‘rape’ joke.

    I does raise an interesting point though: if Freeman had, for instance, said ‘she’d never go for me unless she;d had a few tankards of mead’, would it have caught anyone’s attention? the same problem is still there (womens’ consent is something that can be coerced/overridden/bypassed) but without the trigger word ‘drugging’ would anyone have picked up on the comment?

    This comment just goes to show there’s an underlying problem of many mens’ attitude to women and sex, even where that man appears to be a lovely fluffy media liberal on the outside. Talk of ‘drugging’ and rape’ are extreme manifestations of a wider problem.

  • Sabrina

    He’s advertising a family movie ffs! Rape jokes are always really really bad taste but to cram in a rape joke during an interview for your family movie promo tour after being asked a harmless question?!? How anyone can see this as okay is beyond baffling!

    “Political Correctness gone crazy” lmao @ anyone who still throws this around as if it means anything. like “omg you care about people being respectful to each other! THE NERVE!!!” ahahaha

  • Sabrina

    Regardless of what you think of him for not wanting to come back to DW Christopher Eccleston is a fine human being if there ever was one. In fact he left the show in the first place because people were being mistreated behind the scenes and as the lead actor he wouldn’t stand for this – so he made a fuss and eventually decided to leave.

  • Chiara

    Hugh Jackman seems pretty cool, too

  • Chiara

    Hugh Jackman seems pretty cool, too

  • Chiara

    This is disgusting – he should apologize.

  • Chiara

    This is disgusting – he should apologize.

  • Anonymous

    Well that’s depressing to hear. :/

  • Laszlo

    Still different, in the first, the offensive part is exactly the figures involved, while in the other, that’s secondary, the rape is the offensive part.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    Adam. He has… very strongly held beliefs (whether they are good or bad depends on which side of the political fence you’re on).

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Really, I had no idea (just Googled ‘Adam Baldwin politics’ and he came up on this: http://www.pajiba.com/miscellaneous/comparing-the-wingnuttery-of-the-3-most-politically-vocal-celebrities-on-twitter.php).

    That’s kind of disappointing, because I always kind of liked him, although I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that much. I wonder what Joss Whedon thinks of all that. Come to think of it, I was surprised to hear Sarah Michelle Gellar is a Republican.

  • Ria Narai

    I’m getting equally weary of people excusing offensive ‘jokes’ just because celebrities are the ones saying them.

    Where do you draw the line? Why is it okay for celebrities to say things in poor taste – just because they’re famous and people already adore them for their work? Because the message people get is that if ‘xyz’ said it and got away with it, then it must be fine – and before you know it its gone from an offensive ‘joke’ people forgave an actor for, to a cultural mindset of victim blaming and defending predators.

    Even now, I’ve seen so many people defend Freeman because ‘he’s just like that’ or it was ‘supposed to be funny’ or whatever – but all I can see is people excusing the behaviour of a grown man who should be called out for the bullshit that comes out of his mouth.

  • Ria Narai

    -slow cap- THANK YOU.

    I too am SO tired of people defending and excusing the behaviour of grown men who should already know to keep their mouths shut (especially in a filmed interview ffs) – just because he’s an actor and plays characters people like he gets a free pass to be an asshole? I don’t bloody think so!

  • Adele Quested

    which almost makes it worse, frankly.

  • Anonymous

    What Freeman said in that recorded interview was disgusting.
    But as for the other offensive things he’s presumed to have said, I don’t know why whoever wrote this article thought that linking to a Tumblr as a source (A Tumblr titled ‘Your Fav is Problematic’ of all things), which then only provides links to trash Daily Mail articles as it’s own sources, was good journalism. If you’re going to accuse a person in the media of saying things that need critiquing, could you at least provide accurate and unbiased souses to what was actually said next time please (i.e: Not Tumblr blogs or Daily Mail articles).

  • Anonymous

    Just three mistakes? Are you joking? You and everyone else you know would be out in the cold, I can guarantee you that. You all sound positively Orwellian.

  • Anonymous

    American Dad is satire of US culture. The whole show is used to take satirical jabs at the political and social hypocrisies and wrongs within the country. Patricks character is supposed to be horrible, that’s the whole point. Do you also think that Stephen Colbert really is an offensive conservative pundit too?

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Yes. That was a joke.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Who’s “crucifying” him? He said something wrong. We’re letting people know about it. THAT’S ALL.

  • Christine Hudson

    So you are saying that making an offensive joke about the majority of the world population’s religious gods having an orgy is OK and not offensive and a surreal comment about a hobbit drugging an elf to cope with a size difference and also concerning two totally fictitious ‘beings’ is offensive?? Having upheld the right of someone to seriously offend all Christians, Jews Muslims & Hindus by suggesting a sexual orgy between their gods, I find that far more offensive than an off the cuff remark about hobbits and elves who have no religious following as far as I am aware and mean nothing to anyone. There is a lot worse material about that IS really offensive about real crimes affecting real people and Martin Freeman’s comments never mentioned the word rape once. His hand gesture was depicting making the elf fall over – nothing more.Anything else was left unsaid. Its up to you what you want to make of it! The actual spoken words were not offensive it is what others have made of it!

  • Christine Hudson

    Double standards then?

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    But that’s the point. It’s a classless unfunny joke. He doesn’t have to MEAN it, the fact that he keeps offhandedly making so many completely classless unfunny offensive statement and they get brushed off as “just jokes” is the whole problem. He’s just an ugly spirited little man.

  • Fisty

    Jokes are holy. You cannot determine was is acceptable in a joke.

  • Bjarne Øy

    Rape jokes are fine. Get over yourselves.

  • Reverend Nerd

    I did mean Adam Baldwin, yes. His vitriolic disrespect for anyone who disagrees with him, combined with his blind belief in/defense of neanderthalic Republican dogma, makes him one of the worst human beings on this planet.

    That said, I still love watching Firefly. One actor’s bigoted idiocy isn’t enough to ruin one of my favourite shows — though, every time Jayne speaks, I cringe a little.

  • Amy W

    Yes, what you said. I’m kind of in an awkward place here because I have the world’s worst crush on Freeman, so it’s hard to filter through my bias. I want to defend him, but I don’t want anyone to think I’m defending what he SAID. Those two things are different. When you say he reminds you of your brother, that’s the thing I get too– I mean, not my brother, nor your brother, but PERFECTLY DECENT PEOPLE we know in real life. Perfectly decent people say idiotic, offensive things ALL THE TIME when they’re running their mouth. It doesn’t make them horrible people, nor does it make you stop loving them, if you already love them. Heaven help my husband if he was ever famous, put in the spotlight, under the scrutiny of the Internet.

    In general, I think the Internet is rough on celebrities. If they were our friends, we’d cringe and set them straight, then move on. But celebrities, we have to create Tumblrs about how they’re “problematic,” call them awful people, say we’ll enjoy their work reluctantly or refuse to support their work at all, all over some stupid off-the-cuff remarks within a sea of perfectly LOVELY off-the-cuff remarks that are suddenly null and void because of the negative bits (I mean, seriously, do you KNOW how many interviews he’s had to do in the past few weeks? Has he spent those interviews spewing misogyny or has he been generally decent and kind if tired and his usual dry-humored?). If all people were judged that way, based on their stupidest comments at their worst moments, OUCH. I don’t want to be judged by my words or actions at my worst!

  • Saraquill

    Freeman, I’m disappointed in you.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Yeah, I Googled Adam Baldwin and his politics earlier, and yeah, he’s pretty uh, “vociferous” shall we say. With his beliefs he must really love the role of Jayne Cobb, because if you think about it, the politics in the Firefly universe very much feed into that sort of rhetoric as espoused by Teapublicans and Libertarians.

    There’s a good but short analysis on the politics of Firefly here: http://capitalismbad.blogspot.ca/2006/06/politics-of-firefly-and-serenity.html

  • Amy W

    Basically, the joke got away from him. It started out self-depreciating but as it went on it came out worse– lots of people saying “See, even HE knew he shouldn’t have said it!” as if that makes it WORSE, but I don’t think he PLANNED to have the joke go there ahead of time, but it did, and he tried talking out of it and that failed, so he finished with “…I should just stop talking” because, yes, he did know he’d messed up. Which isn’t the same thing as he’d always INTENDED to say that.

  • Amy W

    I do think that Tumblr is disgusting. Yes, people do and say crappy things. But implying that you shouldn’t like a person or their work because they said some stupid stuff (especially stuff that might have been taken out of context or misinterpreted– I’m not saying that was the case HERE, I’m just talking about so MUCH stuff that appears on a Tumblr like that), that’s just going overboard. That’s SPREADING hate, not fighting it.

  • TheFeminineMissGeek

    Ooooh nooo…. I had no idea. Dammit, Freeman.

  • Charlie

    Jimquisition discussed why rape is such a taboo in video games, I think it applies here because a lot of people are saying: ‘Well you can joke about murder so why not rape’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqMUl5Xj93Y

  • Anonymous

    Mixing blacks with whites? What is this, some liberal 21st century northern state?

  • Anonymous

    I notice you didn’t include genocide, torturing animals, or castration in your list of “unacceptable” topics for humor. I assume then, that you consider those topics perfect fodder for jokes? BTW, your Mom said I was great last night.

  • Chara Bui

    I think that many kind and intelligent individuals (not saying that Freeman is necessarily one) give in to a social conformity (in this case, rape culture) and their values, morals, and critical thinking skills fall wayside in renunciation in order to be funny and cool to fit into a dominant culture’s mold of popular humor.

    In other words, he be thinking he ALL THAT making them Rape jokes!

  • Charlie

    ‘I’m not mad, I’m just sad bro’

  • KaputOtter

    Well there goes one more crush. Sweet, sweet disillusionment I will however play a bit of Devil’s Advocate here in that I do sincerely believe it’s possible to make a funny rape joke. Context: I am a woman but one who has never been raped. I think that Sarah Silverman is one of the funniest comedians alive, and she has made rape jokes that make me groan a bit, but chuckle nonetheless. Silverman and some other comedians make it possible to succeed at rape jokes when they give the joke enough of an absurd/abstract context for the joke to become humorous. It really needs a lot of effort and thought and orchestration put into it though! Rape humor is NOT funny when it’s made clearly at someone’s expense, someone real (Tosh, etc). It’s NOT funny when the joke is made not at a character’s expense, but at the audience. What makes Martin’s joke different, when he’s talking about elves? Bear with me here. I have a very good friend (yes, not myself :P) who broke up with a boyfriend for many reasons including bed death. They tried for ages to renkindle things but the only time the boyfriend said he was “comfortable” putting a move on her was when she was drunk on the couch just about ready to go to sleep. Seriously what does that say about a person when they are only at ease suggesting sex to a partner when the partner is ready to pass out? That’s really just a bit too real to be funny as an off-the-cuff remark; it would have been a bit suspect, yes perhaps a bit funnier if he’d mentioned alcohol, but the remark is made DOUBLY disturbing by the fact that not only did he mention the word “DRUG”, IT WAS THE FIRST THING that came to mind for him. Poor show.

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    I don’t understand why the idea of a man in his 40s being responsible for his own words is so daunting to his fans.

    Instead they try to pretend he’s grown up in some plastic bubble never allowed out into the world except to become their favourite character & the insulated once again.

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    Oh, Look. An overused fallacy.. “You didn’t specifically include a list of all things that should fall under this category in your internet comment, guess that means you’re alright w/ everything you didn’t specifically say”.

    Gotta love when the witless toss this out b/c they want to immediately throw another person on the defensive to derail.

    Man, this post brought the saddest trolls out.

  • Ryan Stith

    Yes completely dismiss a man and all the good work he’s done, including the work he has done as women’s rights advocate. No judge him for for a role that’s satirical, and from not even watching and seeing it yourself no you were told he said so and so. Oh yes completely judge his character from that and say he’s not a decent human being that makes sense

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    Here’s the thing. You’re acting as if people are policing him unfairly. Why is it suddenly difficult to be a decent human being? He can say w/e he wants, he, in fact, does so. But to expectt people to not get upset when he, as a public figure who has more reach than a private citizen, makes statements like this is ridiculous. He said it, people are allowed to react just as much as he’s allowed to make his “off-colour” jokes.

    He shouldn’t make rufie jokes as a non-famous person either b/c it’s disgusting & not funny. Martin Freeman isn’t some persecuted victim. He’s an asshole who loves the sound of his own voice. What changes b/c of his wealth/fame level is how willing people seem to be to excuse such behaviour.

    He is not the character you love, he is a jerk who also happens to be able to act. That’s it.

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    If the main media doesn’t cover it, does that mean it doesn’t exist? Or do you just suddenly put a qualifier on the resource that proves his wrong-doing so it’s a little easier to pretend this is a one time deal. He’s not “presumed” to have said it. He’s said it. & if you want to google for more sources that are more palatable to you? Go for it. Or you can wallow in the dark.

  • Ryan Stith

    Actors like to choose a variety of roles with different sets of personalities to expand their range, just going ahead and judging someone on one role, not to mention one that’s clearly satirical, isn’t exactly the most well thought out judgement a person can make

  • ♥☠ シイラ ☠♥

    Which shows neither of you have actually read the FAQ on that tumblr. They state implicitly that the purpose is to provide receipts & to discuss & show that celebrities are humans. They don’t say the people on their pages are terrible, they don’t even tell fans “don’t support them”. They simply say “here it is, do as you wish”.

    If you take it as “I can’t like x anymore”…it’s clearly b/c something about what they’ve said/done bothers you. Perhaps you should explore it.

    Also? Spreading information & calling out people for the shit they do isn’t “SPREADING HATE”, it’s allowing people discourse & the ability to make informed decisions. A rich celebrity getting busted for something they’ve done isn’t anything akin to “hate”. Please.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    i’m terribly sorry, i’ll be sure to include everything next time just for your benefit, I did write “etc etc” to maybe give you hint as to the fact I was gathering all unacceptable topics under one umbrella. I wasn’t counting on your stupidity, I’m so sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Not cool. And I think by the end of the joke he knew that, but still not cool

  • Anonymous

    I have NEVER heard anyone say a bad word against that man. I was recently watching behind the scenes of the new Wolverine movie, and you can see Jackman walking around in the background and shaking all the extras hands and joking around with them. He seems legit. :0

  • Ka

    A part of me is constantly saying that that joke was poorly delivered and insensitive, whilst another part is muttering how out of proportion this whole thing has gone. Most of the comments I’ve read accuse him of thinking that that behaviour is perfectly fine and that he considers rape to be something to joke about. This amazes me, baffles me even, because that is NOT what’s going on here. He’s making a joke (and if funny or not, is a whole different subject) about leading an elf into bed with him, but he knows he might not have a chance with him/her so he’s going to use a little help from “his friends”. Obviously, he should have stopped then and there, but as we’ve all read, he came to the realization that people would find that offensive and tried to correct himself… but, again, as everyone read, it only got worse.
    The point of the matter is, should he apologize? Yes, definitely. It pissed off and saddened a lot of his fans and non-fans.
    Should we evaluate him based on this? No, not really. It’s his humour, and by that I mean a very sarcastic and dry kind of humour. I don’t think or believe he finds rape funny or thinks that slipping something in a drink is a perfectly fine behaviour. The same happens with a ton of other celebrities who, at a specific moment, aren’t concious of what they’re really saying. And believe me, being a fan of a professional wrestler known for his short temper, rude or offensive comments have happened in the past, despite him being the nicest guy and a feminist.
    Should we be offended by what he said? I think it depends. I’m not offended by what he said because he wasn’t expressing his personal opinion or view on the subject of rape. It was an excruciating unfunny joke, but a joke nonetheless. Some will find it offensive and it’s in their right, not everyone deals with the same issues as other people do nor have the same sense of humour or life experience to take specific and delicate issues lightly. It’s like what Sarah Silverman said about rape victims, I for one was not offended by that but I understood why some got offended and disappointed with her statements.

    TL:DR, he should’ve kept his mouth close and he’s still great as Watson and as Bilbo.

  • Liam D

    Oh how you people LOVE a bandwagon! The guy makes a joke (granted it was inappropriate and not thought through) and everything good he’s ever done is forgotten and he’s known as the evil rape joke guy. He’s an advocate for gay expression in Hollywood – who cares, he made a rash joke about rape, he’s obviously evil. The joke about Lucy Liu was blatantly sarcastic, she recognised that- why do you people feel like it’s your duty to feel offended by her? And whoever made the comment about opium and Asian people- lets take it down a notch eh? You’re just looking for controversy. The reason this is such a big thing is because freeman hasn’t made jokes like this before. Frankie Boyle makes comments like this ALL THE TIME but people rarely call him out for it and he’s an ignorant obnoxious fool. Just because it’s currently fashionable to label freeman akin to a nazi, you people should learn to think for yourselves instead of crying about the injustices – as lovely a sentiment it is for you to be running to the aid of a rape victim, it’s not going to help them, and it doesn’t teach people to not make the jokes. It was a distasteful joke, sure, but Christ people why can’t we ever focus on good things that people do rather than vilifying people at the first opportunity? And articles like this are just lazy, lazy media. We can do better than this.

  • Charlie

    Are you reading a different article or something? Because I just don’t see this extreme hatred of Martin Freeman anywhere. If anything they are just reporting on the reaction to what he said. Personally I’m just disappointed in him which obviously he would never give two shits about anyway. I still think he’s an amazing actor, calm down.

  • KryptoBunny

    Seriously, I promise, it’s satire. He’s playing a character who is exclusively awful, mocking those who actually espouse his utterly shitty beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    Relativist bullshit. “how he actually is as a person” is irrelevant, making a joke about rape is plenty to dismiss him as an asshole, and that’s without the other sexist, racist stuff he’s been spewing. The readers of TMS are usually decent, feminist people, so the fact that many seem to make an exception for MF because he’s famoust/good looking/in a movie they like is deeply troubling.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and the most righteous “only I know what is funny” comedy nazies with issues, apparently. It wasn’t a fallacy, it was satire. Of COURSE I knew you you wouldn’t accept humor about any of those because you’re the arbiter of everything right and proper and you’re SO sensitive to others. So sensitive that you have no problem with telling everyone what’s funny, what they can say and not say, and protect all those poor fragile innocents out there who can’t handle people (gasp!) saying things! Things that you KNOW aren’t funny! You are the hero of the internet.
    (BTW, name calling is so low that it isn’t even considered a fallacey; it’s just considered childish and the first resort of those who can’t carry their own in a discussion.)
    signed, “the saddest troll” (awwwww.)

  • LizbethAnne

    Yeah, and Heath Ledger played a murderer in The Dark Knight! I’m not sure why no one ever calls him out for that!

    (Oh wait. ACTING!)

  • LizbethAnne

    Cards Against Humanity isn’t exactly a warm and fuzzy game–hell, the reason you got those cards in the mail was because you signed up for something called “12 Days of Holiday Bullshit” (which I did as well).

    Cards in existing versions of the game have included things like “Mecha Hitler”, “Dick Fingers” “Elf Cum” (in last year’s holiday set), “Rush Limbaugh’s soft, shitty body”, “Not giving a shit about the third world”, “A homoerotic volleyball montage”, etc. The “most offensive thing [you've] ever read” involved an apparently consensual orgy between fictional characters? I guess you never played the “In Michael Jackson’s final moments, he thought about _______.” card.

  • LizbethAnne

    For Heaven’s Sake! If you don’t like people complaining about rape jokes, don’t look up posts and comments where that is done! You must have done a search to get here!

  • LizbethAnne

    If you think “regular folks” make roofie jokes all the time, you need to hang out with different people. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone I was friends with in real life make a joke about rape*. And if they did? I would confront them and give them flak, and if they didn’t understand the huge problem with their jokes, I would stop associating with them. This is something I’ve done before, when a friend made racist jokes consistently and didn’t see the problem with them. Someone who thinks rape is funny isn’t someone i could associate myself with.

    (*exceptions: a lesbian friend has made dark jokes about taking birth control because she might get raped, and a roommate who was raped made jokes along the lines of “oh, talking about my rape makes you uncomfortable? you know what else is uncomfortable? getting raped”)

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Totally agreed. Martin Freeman is the same age as I am, and if I know better, I would hope that he would.

    /correction, he’s 4 years older than me, so definitely should know better

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    I think if no one says anything, no one holds him accountable, if no one simply sits down and has a talk with him, that’s never going to change. At some point it becomes enabling bad behaviour. I suspect if someone had talked to him about some of the problematic things he says before this, this wouldn’t have happened.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    See, that’s deadpan humour. And yet, it still requires the requisite ‘Not Sure If Serious’ pic, because there are so many people in the world who have defended Deen and Scott Card’s actions, words and even their beliefs, that it’s not so funny when one’s facile advocacy of an inherently ridiculous view or position… is misinterpreted or misperceived as serious, because there are people who are awful enough to actually earnestly believe and defend such views.

    That’s why whenever I use sarcasm or deadpan humour online (and I rarely do engage in that sort of humour, in person or online), I always make sure to add a *sarc* or /sarcasm, or at least a ;P to show that 1) I’m clearly not being serious and 2) it’s the opposite of what I actually believe.

    Unfortunately, netiquette is not something that is taught in this day and age to anyone, which causes a lot of problems and needless and endless flame wars online. Possibly only old fogeys like myself who cut their teeth on USENET discussion groups back before the days of the graphical world wide web seem to know netiquette.

    The problem with Freeman’s ‘joke’ was that the masses don’t know him, they don’t know what he’s like, they don’t know his politics. For all they know he’s exactly the kind of person who would seriously advocate that drugging someone to sexually assault them is just ‘a helping hand’. And for every person who would never actually believe that such a thing was anything but a crime, there are countless people in the world who still seem to believe that this is not such a big deal, and certainly not a crime. And it’s those people who become emboldened by that kind of ‘joke’, who misconstrue it as affirmation of their odious behaviour, and _that_ is what was problematic about Martin Freeman’s ‘joke’.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    I agree. Also, too much of Freeman’s (and a lot of other people’s) deadpan humour is predicated on a faulty first premise that no right-minded person would ever take such a comment at face value, in the face of overwhelming real life proof to the contrary.

    Unfortunately, that totally flies in the face of actual reality, which is that the world is full of really shitty, ignorant people who are more than happy to make superficial judgments about a woman’s looks, particularly when it comes to Women of Colour. I’ve met people who have, perfectly earnestly, stated that they think Asian women are ugly. And _that_ is why ‘jokingly’ calling Lucy Liu a ‘dog’ is so offensive.

    There are just too many people who hold such racist and offensive views that comments like that are so easily misconstrued and misinterpreted, both by the target of said comment (Asian women), as well as people who are sensitive to the such issues, but worst of all, the people who actually believe such things and secretly want to be able to express such views, it only makes them feel more justified in their own prejudices and makes them think it’s socially acceptable to express such views in public, because if Martin Freeman can say that, why can’t I say that?

    I think it’s a somewhat uniquely liberal malaise, because liberals and progressives tend to hang out so much with like-minded people that they kind of forget that there’s a whole world out there who think the total opposite (and I’m not even talking about the rabid racist Republican right either): people who are simply ignorant, prejudiced and closed-minded. A liberal deadpanning a rape ‘joke’ obviously expects their audience (presumably also full of liberals) to think it’s funny because it’s so obviously the total opposite of what they all believe. But is it so obvious? That’s the problem with deadpan humour: it ends up becoming more of a liberal in-joke that only liberals will ‘get’, while for anyone else, it really could be entirely misconstrued as supporting and advocating the very thing that that sort of humour was admonishing.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Even though you’re being facetious, I think there is a measure of truth to that: British humour is incredibly dry, deadpan, and they put a lot of stock in the idea that the drier the humour, the sharper the wit, the funnier it is considered. In particular, British humour can be seen as being very mean-spirited, very cruel in many ways.

    It’s not so bad when it’s a performance, or when that biting humour is being directed at oneself, tearing apart and deconstructing one’s own privileges and prejudices (and I think the best comedians do do that, in a very self-deprecatory way), but unfortunately, I think a lot of British people have internalized that kind of deadpan humour, but end up using it inappropriately (because they’re not professional comedians, they don’t have to get up on a stage every night and try these jokes out and figure out what works and doesn’t work, what is funny and what is extremely hurtful, offensive and cruel), in the same kind of way they might use it in private with their very close friends who have known them for a very long time and know that they don’t really think or believe these things.

    And even professional comedians are known to screw up, and the very best of them realize what they’ve said/done and apologize right away, but the young ones without a lot of life experience or wisdom, often end up doubling down on their mistake instead of really listening to the criticisms and at least considering the possibility that what they said or did might be wrong. That’s the difference between a Daniel Tosh and a Steve Martin: both may be mired in white cis-male heterosexual privilege, but while the latter deleted, retracted and apologized repeatedly for what they thoughtlessly said, the former simply decided to be even more abusive until they turned public opinion so against them that they were forced to apologize… and he did so half-heartedly/-assedly at that.

    One also wonders whether the evolution of British humour and how it became that way is at least partly rooted in England (and let’s face it, when we speak of ‘British’ humour, it’s primarily English humour as the dominant ethnicity of the British Isles) having once been the centre of a vast empire, spanning continents. There’s so much privilege in that, and brings with it the kind of entitlement issues that go along with not having to care at all about watching what one says, of hurting the feelings of people who aren’t like you, because they’re citizens of the most powerful empire in the world… or were, at any rate. They could afford to run roughshod over other people’s feelings, and didn’t have to care if they trampled all over other people’s dreams, because they themselves were basically set for life (you know, serfs, peasants, the working class excepted of course :P).

    In the end it becomes a whole lot of British public school (a.k.a. private school) humour, literally the Old Boys Club, of a kind of upper class laddish behaviour steeped in old money, old nobility, old titles, and all the privileges and entitlements that that sort of background brings.

    And when that sort of humour becomes the dominant style of humour of a culture, it is quickly adopted by those of other classes, in the same way cigarette smoking was once solely the domain of the upper crust but now is largely relegated to the working class. But yet the style of humour is dependent in part on _not_ caring how other people take what you say, of _not_ explaining the ‘joke’ or trying to elucidate on the actual point being made… and that’s how things like these get misconstrued.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Well, considering that hiding in the girl’s locker room to spy on girls undressing is actually a criminal offense, I’d say it’s definitely sketchy.

    Unfortunately, we live in a society where that exact scenario is actually a trope of American ‘coming of age’ teen sex movies that normalizes such behaviour that it doesn’t seem like such a serious thing, and put it down to boys being boys and such.

    Yet periodically there are cases of where some guy is doing _exactly_ that (or even worse now, planting cameras everywhere and recording it, uploading it to the internet), that I’m starting to think that their behaviour is inextricably linked to how mass media normalizes said behaviour that they start to think that it is socially acceptable, when in reality, it’s a crime.

    There’s a scene in the Lonely Island’s video for the song ‘The Creep’ where Nicki Minaj is doing the same thing, which obviously is a play on that trope but with the sex and genders reversed, and while that is problematic, the power differential between a fully-dressed Minaj and a bunch of big, muscular, albeit naked men, makes it a little less iffy for Minaj to be spying on them. Kind of creepy still, and still an offense regardless of the sex and genders of those involved.

  • Nat2283

    Well that escalated quickly…

  • http://www.digitallydownloaded.net/ Matt S

    So… never learned what “irony” means, huh?

  • Anonymous

    You’re absolutely right – I was thinking just recently that this is the problem with irony (which amounts to the same thing as deadpan, I guess).

    Irony operates on the premise that everyone has the same position on an issue, and is therefore able to appreciate the subversion your joke makes. I was thinking about it in relation to the use of irony in marketing of
    The Hunger Games film. They ironically pretend to be on the side of the
    Capitol. That is an instance where irony works because everyone who
    is capable of engaging with the campaign at all (i.e., people who know anything about the franchise) is certainly working from a common ground of understanding
    that the Capitol are the bad guys – no one’s going to misinterpret the
    angle as sincere.

    But too often ‘irony’ is used inappropriately, when there is a false or even disingenuous assumption that the audience is going to have such a shared understanding/opinion.

    The problem with irony so often is that it pretends that no one engaging with the message is going to mistake the statement for sincere. So Freeman’s comment about Liu is innappropriate in a context with a general audience because many of them will take the comment at face value. Whereas if he was talking to a friend who he knew also found Liu to be gorgeous, the irony would work because there’s a shared understanding of the underlying premise.

    I don’t know why I’m reiterating; you put all this much better in your comment!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I agree. As I say, I’m not defending him. Understanding meaning /= defense.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Oh, that’s not the issue here: clearly I’m not suggesting that Patrick Stewart actually _is_ sexist or anything like that (I mean, as much a cis-male heterosexual can _not_ be sexist, anyway), but rather his judgment in terms of not understanding how his performances, or even the roles he chooses to play, can be entirely misconstrued by ignorant members of the audience (of which there are many).

    The whole point of satire is to skewer a certain political position by taking an extreme stance pretending to agree with it, and then taking it even further into the realm of the ridiculous in order to highlight exactly how wrong it is. At its very best, satire is social commentary disguised as humour. Unfortunately, satire is a double-edge sword, and requires the utmost skill in wielding it in order to properly skewer its intended target: if the wielder fails to land squarely on the mark, it’s a weapon that can easily end up doing the opposite of what was intended, and end up harming both the wielder, and some other innocents along the way.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Oh, I’m not concerned that it’s not satire, but rather that it can be misconstrued as supporting the very kinds of people it is meant to be attacking.

    Good satire lands squarely on its mark to skewer a specific target (usually a societal ill or social iniquity), but bad satire (or simply satire not executed or delivered deftly) can have the unintended consequence of doing exactly the opposite and give people the impression that the person in question is actually supporting, rather than criticizing a certain position.

    Even the best of satire can be misconstrued by some, whether it be well-meaning people who take it the wrong way and are offended, or the bad people who actually think that the satire is supporting their position, and thus, emboldening them and reaffirming their backwards beliefs.

    It’s like sarcasm, and as DreadfulKata pointed out, irony as well, which can be misconstrued. Even in Jonathan Swift’s day, some people seemed to believe he was seriously advocating cannibalism in ‘A Modest Proposal’ (http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-satirists-attacked-by-people-who-totally-missed-point/).

    But at least with good satire, there are fewer people who are likely to take the satire at face value.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Unfortunately, there are actually loathsome people out there who identify with those types of characters. While I would not say that no one should ever create such characters period, I think it becomes an issue when such characters aren’t sufficiently treated in such a way as to make it obvious, _even to ignorant and sociopathic people_, that this sort of behaviour is not okay, that it is not socially acceptable.

    Unfortunately, certain mediums are not exactly designed to portray the kind of nuance necessary to make that clear, and with the rise in popularity of anti-heroes, it further muddies the waters in terms of who the audience should really be identifying with.

    It’s no accident that so many people were so blindly cheering on an amoral character like Walter White and identifying with him, even as the entire show is clearly about taking someone who is average and ordinary and putting him into a situation where the lines become blurred in terms of what moral choices can be made, and what White chooses to do in a given situation, that fans of the show actually become angry at characters like Skyler White (Walter’s wife) who actually express moral misgivings about what he is doing, and start to see her as the enemy, as an obstacle to Walter White’s ultimate happiness. And then, it’s not a surprising stretch to hating on Anna Gunn, the actress portraying Skyler: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/opinion/i-have-a-character-issue.html?_r=0

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Yeah, I’m still waiting to hear about who exactly was doing what on the set of Doctor Who that made Christopher Eccleston want to leave, because I really respect people in the entertainment industry who are willing to burn bridges, even at the expense of their own career, to stand up for production crew and staff who are being mistreated. People like George Clooney who refuse to work with directors who bully people on set, definitely get my vote for being cool people in Hollywood/the entertainment industry.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Keanu Reeves. Even though I _hate_ the fact that he’s taken a classic historical tale of Japan (47 Ronin) and turned it into a bizarre fantasy epic with (half-)White Saviour complex overtones… I admit I’m impressed that he took the time and effort to learn Japanese, if only phonetically, and to do the movie in both English and Japanese.

    From all accounts, he sounds like a really nice guy, and I feel kind of bad that I used to diss him for his acting chops (I actually do like him in certain roles: like Tom Cruise, he’s usually best in action thrillers where he’s not forced to stretch beyond what he can realistically perform), and I feel bad for him that tragedy has followed him throughout his life, which has probably made him more empathetic towards others than most.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Aw, thanks! :)

  • Calum Syers

    I think, “Dammit, Freeman.” is my new catchphrase.

  • Anonymous

    Um… not trying to be a jerk here, but I can’t find a citation for that. And it’s certainly not common parlance. While the comment was offensive and in bad taste, I seriously doubt Freeman was making a subtle reference to the opium trade.

  • Amourah

    Who cares?

    Put yourself in his shoes for a quick minute. You’re traveling all over the world doing press – hundreds of different people asking you thousands of different questions, most of them stupid and inane (Really? What mythical race would you prefer to date?) – at this point you’re probably tired and don’t give a shit anymore, and you say something stupid. Verbal diarrhea.

    I’ve gotten tired and cranky at events and before I realize it I’m deep into dead baby and Helen Keller jokes. Do I think dead babies are funny? Not particularly, no. Is being blind, deaf and mute hysterical? Not at all.

    Give the guy a break. He’s a human being. Can’t even make a mistake, which may I point out he made note of, without being pounced on by everyone with their holier-than-thou attitude.

    He’s just an actor. I ask again, who cares what he says?

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    “Who cares?… I ask again, who cares what he says?”

    Lots of people. We all say stupid things now and then but owning up to them matters.

  • http://www.fangirlwithtea.com/ Pamela

    If you haven’t watched the show in recent memory, then how can you make that judgment call about its satirism?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Seth MacFarlane screws up most of his attempts at satire, but that’s a pretty bold judgment to make about an actor’s choices based on something you’ve never seen.

  • Amourah

    Does it really? I may just be really jaded and cynical but I find most of these kind of apologies to be superficial and empty. They say sorry bc that’s what’s expected of them. I could be totally wrong of course. Perhaps they really are sorry, realized their mistake, will work hard to make amends, educate themselves and others about the effects of their ignorant behavior, and never repeat it again. Or maybe when they say “sorry” it’s really “Sorry ya’ll got so angry. I won’t do it again. The studio is going to be really mad at me if I’m not making enough money for them bc you are all angry at me.” Which isn’t an apology at all.

    I feel most of the apologies fall into that second category. Those apologies do more harm than good imo. All the people who got upset will settle down and the subject fades away into the background, and it’s over, until the next gaff.

    Everyone gets upset about a symptom of a problem (rape jokes) and think that treating that (apology/owning up) will solve the problem itself (gender inequality). It won’t solve it. It hasn’t solved it.

    The other aspect of this whole thing is that what Martin Freeman or any actor believes has zero impact on my life. I didn’t even know about it until I read it here. We give actors and their like more credence or power than they deserve.

  • http://whiterosebrian.tumblr.com/ White Rose Brian

    Okay, I just lost respect for Mister Freeman.

  • Anonymous

    I strongly suspect this was intended as a satire of rape culture, and not as an endorsement of it. Martin Freeman has a tendency to take on the role of an unethical idiot to mock such people, and it seems to me that the butt of this joke is the unethical idiots who actually think like this. If so, does that excuse it? Not sure. I think that’s subjective, or at least open to debate. There’s always a danger in satire of being too subtle to register as such, and this is a sensitive topic, so it’s certainly thin ice. How clear his intent was in his voice, I don’t know. All I have to go on is the text in this article, and that’s not enough to make an informed assessment, but either way, the words “clumsy” and “problematic” come to mind at the very least. I wouldn’t necessarily jump straight to “You’re an asshole”, but I think this warrants a “Dude, what the fuck?”.

  • Amy W

    That’s what the Tumblr SAYS, but that’s not how it’s USED. There’s nothing cheerful about these posts– nothing “Hey, look, they’re human, too!” It’s “These are the nasty things this person has said/done. WE JUST FEEL LIKE YOU SHOULD KNOW.” I mean, it’s one thing if we were talking about atrocities. Or even, like someone else in a comment mentioned Orson Scott Card– there we have someone actually taking offensive ACTIONS. That’s possibly worth informing people about. But this is gossip, that’s all. “Did you HEAR what so and so SAID?!” It’s really NOT providing any kind of public service. It’s collecting dirt on people, people who are under a lot of public scrutiny as it is, catching their worst faux pas and making sure no one forgets them– even if those same people spend MOST of their time saying and doing really good things (I mean, have you seen the “problematic” tumblr on John Green? The guy who just lead a huge annual charity campaign last week?) Is it really helping people make “informed decisions” if it’s just highlighting the bad and not giving any indication of the good?

    It’s no different than the National Enquirer and other such tabloid “news” papers. “Guess who has cellulite!” “Celebrities without their makeup!!!!” “Why were so-and-so and so-and-so spotted talking to each other? Random passerby thinks they’re having an affair!” (Which brings up the issue of things taken out of context or misinterpreted– as in Martin’s case, with the Daily Mail quotes, the reporter had missed the sarcasm, which is WHY other people have said never trust the Daily Mail as a source. They’ve been known to twist reality in the past). Those make me sick, too. Their purpose is not to inform people of things they really need to know, it’s to a) sell papers, while b) allowing people who aren’t famous to feel smug about famous people, who we all know are filthy rich and live fabulous problem-free lives so it doesn’t HURT them to take them down a knotch. (Note: like most of Martin’s offensive comments, that was actually meant to be sarcasm). I don’t believe in celebrity gossip. I think it’s mean-spirited. I DO think celebrities are only human, and as humans they should be treated with respect, not as fodder for gossip.

    Yes, it’s true, sometimes brilliant, talented people do and say crappy things. I’m not implying that they don’t. We ALL do. I was thinking this morning about the time a brilliant author, one with a large and passionate fanbase of which I always considered myself a part, well, she responded to a comment I left on a blog post (mind you, a very polite comment, halfway agreeing with her, but suggesting there might me more to the issue she was discussing than she believed). Her response was pure emotion, kneejerk… unprofessional, really. It was angry and accusatory towards me, and it really hurt, to be yelled at by one of my favorite authors. Sure, I could have posted something online, calling her out for her unprofessional behavior, but I didn’t, and I won’t. I know she was emotionally distraught, and if she’d taken the time to think it out, take some deep breaths, she might have written something more measured, less hurtful. I refuse to tell ANYONE who this was, because I don’t want anyone to have this taint I have when they think about her or her wonderful books. I don’t feel it’s necessary nor appropriate for the public to know that this brilliant woman had a moment of weakness that hurt me.

    As we used to say in journalism class, is it really serving the public interest, or is it pandering to morbid curiousity?

    Is this making any sense?

  • Amy W

    Which would imply that everyone who would ever play a bad guy actually is one.

  • Kane Leal

    I really cannot come around to seeing it this way. It looks to me like a straight up rape is something we put in air quotes kind of rape-as-a-joke.

  • Kane Leal

    I only care if the statement causes me to no longer be able to enjoy his work. I don’t care one whit for him personally, but if I now see him as potentially raping all of his dates on Sherlock, I can no longer enjoy his character, nor the show.

  • KryptoBunny

    You make fair points. I’m more of the mind that we’re all responsible for our own intentions, actions, and reactions. Which is to say that if people misconstrue obvious parody, they’re probably not the kind of people whose minds are particularly open to change. In other words, too dumb to perform adequate analysis and thus prone to stupid decisions regardless of influence. Obviously they can’t do anything to change this, but I don’t think that the idiocy of the few should mean that sarcasm and parody are somehow wrong because they lack the egalitarian qualities of a good poop joke (which is also something I’m usually in favor of!).

  • Anonymous

    So according to you, nobody should play a satirical role, because somewhere out there a terrible person may be so stupid that they are incapable of recognizing the satire and will identify with them instead.

    Just like how after Jonathan Swift wrote “A Modest Proposal”, a wave of baby-eating swept Ireland.

    And after children played Mortal Kombat, they all ran out and tore their best friends spines out.

    I’m just starting to wonder where the line between “actual useful media analysis” and “pearl-clutching moral guardianism disguised as progressivism” actually is these days.

  • Anonymous

    Ugly women have also been called dogs, which is clearly what he was referring to as using “dog” as a racial slur is out of common use and referring to a supposedly “ugly” woman as a dog is common and the more likely reference he would have reached for. Stop inventing new reasons to be upset.

  • Eva Catherine Harding

    everyone makes mistakes. He is known for saying shit like this but, i agree this was too far. I’m sure he didn’t mean it to come off like that

  • Eva Catherine Harding

    yes. but english isn’t an ethnicity

  • Just Me

    LOL! That was pretty funny…come on!

  • Anonymous

    y’all must be a riot at parties.

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    if you like to make these kinds of “jokes” i’d rather not be at any parties with you, thanks.

  • Dharlette

    Way to make me feel like shit about going to see my favorite childhood book made into a movie, Freeman. Thanks for that.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    That’s a strawman argument: that’s not what I said at all. My argument was that rape culture is so insidious and pervasive and that mass media portrayals (or even what people say in interviews) can serve to have a cumulative effect of feeding into the promotion of rape culture, even when the people involved have the best of intentions, and that satire is a tricky genre of humour to engage in that one has to be very good at it, and use it carefully, lest it end up promoting and perpetuating that which it was attempting to criticize.

    It’s a false equivalence to compare Swift’s satire to Martin Freeman’s off-the-cuff, off-colour ‘joke’ during a TV interview, because:
    1) cannibalism has been verboten and socially unacceptable for a every long time in our society, that relatively few people are likely to genuinely take the exhortation of eating children at face value;
    2) rape culture _is_ a real thing, and the fact that towns like Steubenville actually had so many people not directly involved with the rapes were actually coming out in droves to defend and even protect the Steubenville rapists suggests that rape is _not_ considered by our society to be socially unacceptable (would an entire town have defended the actions of cannibals in their midst? I somehow doubt it);
    3) Swift was renowned for satire, and he was well-versed in the tradition and had the skills necessary to pull it off (although even then, there were people who misconstrued his ‘modest proposal’ as actually advocating cannibalism). Moreover, Swift wrote with specifically in order to skewer the officious callousness and obsession with cold statistics regarding the treatment of the poor (and specifically the Irish poor), whereas Freeman was merely making an ill-considered, thoughtless remark off-the-cuff during an interview: there was no ‘humour as social commentary’ angle here. Furthermore, Martin Freeman is an actor, he is not a professional satirist and has no experience or the skills necessary to pull it off properly.

    No one is suggesting government censorship of satire, no one is baying for Martin Freeman’s blood or wanting to see him arrested. But for those who think that what Martin Freeman said was irresponsible, regardless of his intentions, also have the right to speak up and speak out against comments, ‘jokes’, etc. that perpetuate a culture which serves to trivialize sexual violence (particularly against women): that is _their_ freedom of speech.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    My sister recounted to me an episode she had seen where Bullock is attempting to rape a girl and he shoots the girl’s father who tries to stop him. Whatever satire MacFarlane intended there seems to have been lost. For sure, I’d be happy to go watch some more episodes and see for myself, but when MacFarlane has a history of poor attempts at satire (‘We Saw Your Boobs’, _Dads_ http://ca.eonline.com/news/459462/seth-macfarlane-s-new-fox-show-dads-is-awkward-and-offensive-so-why-are-we-laughing) that it makes me inclined to believe that the ‘Avery Bullock’ character isn’t serving the satirical purpose.that was intended.

    It also speaks to MacFarlane’s blinkers due to his multiple privileges, that his first reaction to the public outcry over ‘We Saw Your Boobs’ was to commiserate with the likes of Rush Limbaugh regarding media outrage (http://www.salon.com/2013/02/25/seth_macfarlane_to_rush_limbaugh_now_i_understand_why_conservatives_hate_the_media/), rather than stop to consider that maybe ‘We Saw Your Boobs’ was hardly the high water mark of satire, but rather its nadir, and that a lot of people ‘loved’ that song and dance number for entirely the wrong (and opposite) reasons as he intended: a hallmark of bad satire or satire done badly.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    While I would tend to think that Freeman’s ‘joke’ was meant to be more ironically sexist than racist, it is problematic because not only is there the racist stereotype of Asians eating dogs, but many Chinese take offense to be compared to dogs: the infamous Rob Ford (crack mayor of Toronto) once got into a lot of hot water for making an unintentionally racist comment comparing the stereotype of Asians being hard workers with working like ‘dogs’, which offended a lot of people in the Chinese Canadian community here in Toronto: http://www.citynews.ca/2008/03/06/rob-ford-refuses-to-publicly-apologize-over-asian-comments/

    Intent isn’t everything: there are unintended consequences to what people say and do, particularly when it comes to issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, trans*phobia, etc.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    I don’t know that anyone thinks he’s a horrible human being, but he is mired in multiple privileges he seems entirely unaware of, and the problem with that is that if people don’t call him (and others like him) out on it, he is never going to stop to consider that maybe he needs to rethink some of what he considers ‘funny’ and the kind of consequences that come with making such ‘jokes’ in public. Moreover, I would hope this entire debacle would help him reexamine his own internalized biases and prejudices which inform his thoughts, feelings, beliefs, as well as help him gain greater understanding of these issues and how even comments, ‘jokes’ made with the best of intentions can not only be misconstrued by the public, but also can have a net result of contributing to societal ills, rather than criticizing them.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Well, in so much as ‘race’ is a social construct, there really are no ethnicities. But I think it is a valid argument to make that the English are as much an ethnicity as the Celts, the Francs, the Saxons, even if they may all fall under the umbrella of Caucasian/’white’. The problem with discussing issues of race and ethnicity is that they are inextricably intertwined with geopolitical boundaries, with culture, language, religion, socioeconomics, class, etc.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    What’s really ironic is that Martin Freeman often refers to himself as not a particularly nice person in interviews. I’m sure he’s not evil, but he’s definitely full of privilege and the biases and blinkers that come with it.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    A long time ago, after becoming disappointed with some of my childhood heroes after finding out that they were *shock and surprise* flawed human beings (Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela, among others, to whom I’d written this rather naive ode and paean to their legacies), I vowed never to hero-worship anyone again, because people are human, and they make mistakes.

    It’s also the same reason why I don’t do the whole autograph-hound thing, and have no interest in meeting celebrities.

  • http://www.geekingoutabout.com Trisha Lynn

    Watching the behind the scenes extras in The Hobbit Bluray kinda confirmed for me that he is more of a dick than his “everyman” niche seems to portray. Then again, it kinda makes a little sense in his John Watson role because that character would have to be a bit of a dick in order to be able to put up with Sherlock’s eccentricities.

  • Anonymous

    Not very offensive, just unfunny. If you’re going to be making those kind of jokes, it better be hilarious. Never was much of a fan of Freeman anyway.

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    Right, and by that logic Katee Sackhoff should be abhorred for playing a lesbian who gets “fixed” in the new Riddick movie, and Matthew McConaughey is actually as disgusting as his character in Dazed & Confused, and Ricky Gervais is the biggest asshole who ever walked the face of the earth because of everything he’s ever done onscreen, and Johnny Depp is the greatest sinner of all for playing Tonto (okay that last one is true, but not just because that character was awful).
    I certainly don’t think you can judge an actor by any one role they played. In the context of Stewart’s work (acting and philanthropic) that one role seems pretty obviously intentionally ridiculous. I wouldn’t argue that it’s a GOOD role or that Seth McFarlane is a good writer either, but it’s a stretch to say that it’s evidence that Stewart is a sexist person.
    Considering all the work he does in the name of domestic violence, I’m willing to overlook one satirical horrible boss role.

  • Anonymous

    All of those actors simply made poor choices, yes (except maybe Gervais, who wrote a lot of his assholes as well, so it’s more than just choice). That’s hardly controversial? Of course, neither of them made a name for themselves fighting homophobia/gross people/racism, but yes, poor judgement in many cases. I’m not sure anyone is saying that Stewart is a sexist, but it’s definitely a case of What Where You Thinking, Accepting That Role? I think that kind of lapse should lower his status in people’s eyes, while not destroy it.

  • Anonymous

    Late comment, but yes! The discussion in this thread has taught me not only what I already knew, that very few actors have a spine, but also that people think that’s ok and as it should be, because They’re Artist and They Have to Think of Their Careers. So yeah, those who stand up for things definitely get points from me.

  • Eva Catherine Harding

    yeah i guess, its a subjective concept. But in the UK english, scottish or british etc or not considered ethnicities, just nationalities

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Let’s use the word “problematic” then, since this joke contributes to the rape culture.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Intension isn’t magical.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the thing; a privileged person, with a very big soap box, just endorsed the rape culture. Yes, rape jokes are a symptom of a problem, but apologizing would help. If he learned from that behavior and stopped making that “mistake”, that would be even better. To suggest this won’t because gender inequality is “too big a problem to solve” is a derailment of the conversation at best.

  • Anonymous

    “You’re just looking for controversy.” Oo, bingo!!

  • Anonymous

    Nope.

  • Just Me

    Humor has no limits, my friend

  • Anonymous

    Who ever said it was? Bringing up magic seems to me a complete non sequitur. I’m not even saying Martin was right in making that joke. I just think it’s unfair to jump to the assumption that a clumsy joke that could easily be satirical is automatically an endorsement of rape just because it happens to be presented from a rapist’s point of view. That’s the thing about jokes. Like stories, the point of view from which they’re presented doesn’t always represent the point of view of the person telling them. Even if they’re shit. Otherwise, one might as well arrest an actor for playing a murderer in a bad movie.

  • Brian

    Dwayne Johnson is apparently a completely delightful person. Pleasant, loving, and charitable to all.

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    I’m not really interested in defending Martin Freeman and his frequent forays into awfulness, but I completely disagree with you on British humour.
    You say that our humour is dependent upon ‘not caring how other people take what you say’ and I don’t think that’s true at all. It’s built on a form of inter-cultural communication and I think you’re reading of it is a form of cross-cultural miscommunication. If you have been brought up with British humour, you’ll know the social cues that mean someone is being sarcastic or self deprecating or satirical or affectionate. Particularly with sarcasm, which is a very common form of British humour, you have to rely on your audience knowing when you’re using it. Freeman’s comment about Lucy Lui, was a terrible joke, but everyone I know picked up on the sarcasm. Now he’s talking to an international audience, about an American woman so he brought the criticism on himself, and I don’t like that he immediately spoke about her looks. But I do know that he meant the exact opposite of what he said. A lot of people from America particularly, didn’t pick up on that at all, and that’s fine. Americans have a much more straight forward communicative style. They have a right to be offended when he’s talking about an American woman particularly a woman of colour, and frankly part of that sarcastic humour is knowing when it’s okay to use.
    BUT you can’t criticise a whole communicative style aimed at British people, in such broad terms when you’re not part of that culture. All cultures have a unique way of communicating with each other. The fact that the current default communication style is the more straight forward American one, doesn’t make the way I communicate within my own culture wrong (also I teach English to students from all over the world and Britain is far from the only country to use this sort of humour).
    You are however of course perfectly welcome to criticise Mr. Freeman, who is frankly, just being an arse.

  • Karin Purple

    If you watch the video of this interview, it’s fairly obvious that Martin had absolutely no intent to joke about rape. The whole conversation was a failed attempt to give a silly answer to a silly question. I think you’re all going to agree that he didn’t have sexual intercorse in mind when he mentioned the ladder: Using a ladder to have sexual intercorse with a taller person would make absolutely no sense. He obviously just tried to come up with ways to bring an elf to eye-level of a smaller person. And bringing an elf down to eye-level of a smaller person obviously still was what he was thinking about when he made that unfortunate drug comment. He realized right after this comment that some people would immediatly jump to the conclusion that he was talking about sex and hence date rape, which he wasn’t. That’s why he was using the qutations marks on the word “rape”, because that was absolutely not what he had thought about when making this comment.
    So please stop blowing this out of proportion. It was nothing but an unfortunate comment that could be misinterpreted as an attempt of a rape joke and Martin obviously realized how unfortunate his choice of words was right after he said them.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    I apologize, I did not mean by my previous post to be in any way a searing indictment on British humour. I love UK comedy on the whole more than American or Canadian ones (I like Aamer Rahman of Australia though), merely a constructive critique. I often have to explain British humour to my parents, for example, who love British shows but are still stuck on some turns of phrase which I learned from my sister, who is a diehard Anglophile. She claims not to be good at regional UK dialects, but she can generally discern them, at least the general geographic location. I’d be interested in hearing UK humour from an intersectional context, as I did love this old Jo Brand stand up routine that she was on on a compilation of British humour made by (I think) Select magazine (the seminal music rag).

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    I’m not against poop jokes (although I try not to make them at the expense of any coprophiliacs who might be offended, because I don’t mean to marginalize them in anyway; it’s just not my scene, you know), but I also don’t consider it the pinnacle of humour. ;)

    I’m all for South Park, although they tend to get a little preachy and obvious, but then, maybe they need to to show people that it is, indeed, satire. I just didn’t like their episode of false equivalence equating people who are trans*gender with people who want to be dolphins. I agree with some of their views, but not all of them, and I don’t worship Matt Stone or Trey Parker as some South Park fans seem to do.

    I know you weren’t calling me “stupid” or anything; I’m sorry if I sounded more hostile than I should have, as we’re just talking about humour here. It may be that my ‘humour’ of late has been spoiled by having to debate an endless number of trolls and really quite not nice people online who want to turn nice discourse nasty, and it does get wearying having to take a patient and polite tone with every one of them. Some of the worst are my fellow atheist/skeptics, who apparently can’t seem to argue a single valid rational point without devolving into ad hominem and straw man attacks in lieu of cogent discussion. *rolls his eyes*

    Anyway, yeah, sorry about that. I spend days explaining to people about issues of ‘privilege’, ‘intersectionality’, ‘micro-aggressions’, etc., and these are people with access to Google who could be looking these terms up themselves if they really cared to, but they’d rather be lazy and willfully ignorant on the internet, so I have to go all ‘Let Me Google That For You’ and I get all snarky because I’m totally not into suffering asshats gladly. It’s one thing if they disagree with what I’m saying after having understood what I’m arguing, and another thing for them to be making these kneejerk emotional polemics that do nothing but stir the pot and rile people up. I’m done with all that: some people need to at least read Wikipedia, something, anything. :(

  • KryptoBunny

    Yeah, that sounds like the story of trying to be cogent and intelligent on the internet. I so often have to just close my eyes and say tell myself to just close the window and refuse to engage, because otherwise bad things happen. For example, I once left a comment on one of my very favorite blogs (which is mainly about vintage ephemera, but which occasionally includes socially conservative or religious ranting), and the very drawn-out conversation that happened around that comment turned into, you know, the idea that I should be sure never to have children — and these were fairly intelligent, articulate people.

    But I’ve also gone back to comments I’ve made and been alarmed at how thoughtless I’ve been (important rule: no comments before coffee), so I try not to read too much into things or make too many assumptions about tone.

    It might be worth noting, though, that people can be aware of the same information without coming to the same conclusions. I’ve learned this myself the hard way by (foolishly!) arguing with folks who identify as agnostic/spiritual/just-anything-but-atheist.

  • Anonymous

    A slap to the head for being a disingenuous turd is NOTHING compared to rape.

  • Jay Cartwright

    How petulant are you people? Just because you’re offended, does not mean you’re right. “But make no mistake. Freeman is joking about “slipping something” into someone’s drink, which implies they’re not aware of it, so he can sleep with them.” That’s not really an objective view, is it?

  • Anonymous

    But Heather, what about the patriarchy?

  • Anonymous

    Rape…culture?

  • Anonymous

    That sounds like an incredibly privileged response. I’m also not your friend.

  • Anonymous

    No to all of that.

  • Anonymous

    But he’s a privileged person!! Clearly we must uphold his privilege by cuddling him or He Won’t Get It!! Attract more with honey, blah blah something…………

  • Anonymous

    Translation: I don’t want to admit my privilege because that would mean I’d have to delve into some serious self reflection where Whoops! I participated in oppression!!

  • Just Me

    “privileged response” Ha! You’re almost as funny as Mr. Freeman. It is true that you’re not my friend, but I don’t see why we can’t be friends.

  • Anonymous

    But rape DOES exist….it IS real. Also, hi, rape survivor here :D Not to mention the other survivors, friends/ relatives if survivors and/or people who’s lives have been hugely impacted by rape, could be just as affected by your callous comment.

  • Anonymous

    Just…..completely missed the point….

  • Anonymous

    You insult me, then ask why we can’t be friends………………….

  • Anonymous

    Look..it…up? Not my…job….to teach you? (Edit to add) I also love when people feign ignorance of something we are all effected by and live in, day in and day out.

  • Anonymous

    Nope.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get it. Explain.

  • Anonymous

    Just…wow. Ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    I know! I don’t get it either!

  • Anonymous

    Looked it up a long time ago and it had turned out to be a myth in this part of the world. In places like the Congo or New Delhi though, it’s very, very real. I do not deny that.

    I feel very fortunate to be born in a society that even though it is not perfect, it’s still one of the closest things to a paradise on this planet.

    I’m also thankful for the fact that my female-family members live in one of the safest places in the world. Not saying nothing will ever happen to them but it certainly helps to be living here.

  • Anonymous

    Well they can be…unless Tosh is saying them!

    P.S. I don’t despise Tosh, lol!

  • Rence

    Let me start by saying that i personally feel that rape should be a capital offense, just like murder. I’d be just fine with rapists and child molesters getting the needle, or the chair, or even the firing squad. My sense of honor, and of right and wrong is just fine with that. I would sleep well at night even if i was the guy pushing the button on the machine that injects the lethal dose’s of drugs into the convicts system.

    Having said that, it was a joke. It was a bad joke. It was in poor taste. But it was a joke. When we start trying to censor people, comedians in general, we start down a very slippery slope. What is it ok to joke about? Who decides what is ok to joke about?

    Either everything is ok to joke about or nothing is. If you get offended by someones joke, that is on you. It is your choice then to watch his movies and tv shows if you are offended. If enough people are offended and stop watching, that delivers a message, that there are consequences for what you say and do.

    But in general, i think people need to lighten the hell up. It was just a joke kids…