Damienne Merlina is a self-described “fat, one-armed comedian.” Recently another comedian, Ari Shaffir, took some time on his Comedy Central special to call her out by first and last name and proceed to do a series of jokes about her body size and the fact that she has one arm.
She posted a beautiful video response (embedded below) and of course the trolls took to the comments to support Shaffir’s sizeist, ableist comedy, and – never ones to miss an opportunity – engage in some bullying, sizeism and ableism of their own (with a side of “you should judge your value based on whether or not I would fuck you” thrown in for good measure.)
Some claimed that what Ari did was ok because Damienne had done a bit about an unnamed guy with a small penis and they felt that it was body shaming. Some disagree that the bit was about shaming men with small penises. I think that regardless of what someone thinks of it, it isn’t even in the same galaxy as stating someone’s first and last name on a special on Comedy Central – a cable network – and then making sizeist and ableist “jokes” specifically about that person. I also think it’s entirely possible to find her small penis bit problematic, and still believe that what Ari did is super fucked up cruel bullying that shouldn’t be allowed to go unchecked.
Others supported him because “FREE SPEECH!” To be clear for those constitutional scholars bringing up the First Amendment, I’m not suggesting that he should be precluded from engaging in shitty comedy by congressional edict, so calm down. This isn’t about whether or not his shitty sizeist and ableist comedy is legal, it’s about whether or not his shitty sizeist and ableist comedy is something that we’re going to stand for, because freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences when you say something shitty, sizeist and ableist. So it is within the purview of our free speech to say that we don’t support sizeism, ableism, or comics who are so dramatically untalented and/or lazy that they can’t write material that isn’t just about naming people and then getting cheap laughs from berating their physical appearance. It is well within the purview of our free speech to say things like “Try harder Ari.” or “Sizeism and ableism aren’t hilarious Ari.” or “I’m not paying money to see you Ari.” or “Good edgy comedy punches up Ari.” or “That was super fucked up Ari.”
Speaking of using that free speech, you can check out Damienne’s video below and you can show her some love by commenting on the Youtube video and also at:
Twitter: @whatsinadame – http://goo.gl/t6A9EU
IG: @whatsinadame – http://goo.gl/vWs4lo
You can let Comedy Central know what you think:about them airing that mess:
You can let Ari know what you think::
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