Dapper Laughs: how to kill your career by trashing your fans, apologising and creeping to the BBC
Dapper Laughs creator Daniel O’Reilly is a fool. When he was being accused of condoning and encouraging rape, he made the mistake of trying to explain himself. Dapper Laughs went on TV, this time as his perma-tanned geyser look-alike O’Reilly, and told the BBC Newsnight viewers about his rape jokes:
“That joke may have gone a bit too far and I may have said too much but by no means do I stand behind that and I’m embarrassed by it… I didn’t realise I was causing that much of a problem.”
Having portrayed his fans as impressionable dolts, O’Reilly then stated that Dapper Laughs was dead.
As @jamiesont tweets:
To still be a Dapper Laughs fan after he trashed you on Newsnight requires idiocy which takes you to a whole new unexplored level of stupid.
This mea culpa pleased the Newsnight viewers, who, one imagines, are not O’Reilly’s main fanbase to begin with. It was on-message. The fearless new post-Savile Newsnight will not bury important matters like an ITV2 comic making a joke at a privage gig. It will showcase its sound morals but summoning O’Reilly to its naughty step.
And then O’Reilly blew into an orifice and brought Dapper back to life.
He should have carried on regardless, slapped “Banned From TV” (see Jerry Sadowitz) on his posters and Facebook pages, sticking two fingers up to the censors and moralists. Dapper Laughs, the Comedy Nasty, should have just ploughed on.
And he should have waited. Because things change.
For instance, what was once a 1980s video nasty is now a cultural curiosity, a bit of stupid fun that never did bring civilisation to its knees – and many of these life-changing films now carry a 15 certificate.
For those of you not around when video nasties were unhinging minds, here are the British Board of Film Classification’s notes on Straw Dogs, the 1971 film broadcast in full on Channel 4 in 2010:
Along with and Death Wish, Straw Dogs was ultimately removed from video shops in 1988 because the BBFC’s then Director, James Ferman, did not feel that it would be appropriate to classify this particular film for video release ‘at that time’. Partly this was in response to the recent Hungerford massacre which led to increased sensitivity about video violence in general, but also because concerns about sexual violence in films had increased since the 1970s, with the BBFC being inclined now to take a far stricter and more cautious approach. Of particular concern was the fact that the new technology of home video opened up the possibility of scenes being played – and replayed – out of context. In the case of Straw Dogs this was particularly problematic because Amy’s ambiguous reaction to the rape could be viewed out of the wider context of the film, fuelling the fantasies of potential offenders.
But it didn’t.
Violent imagery does not equate to violent acts.
But hearing Dapper Laughs will turn you into a rapist. Maybe. So ban it. You know. Just in case.
Does Dapper Laughs enourage rape? Do normal, working-class lads (and, yes, it’s those knuckle draggers the censors fear and want to educate) abandon all mores, morals, common sense, consideration and education about attitudes to women, sex, family and love when they hear Dapper Laughs say that a woman is asking to be raped? Do his laughing female fans laugh off sexual assaults?
Are words the same as deeds?
They might be, say the cultural snobs. Such is the power of Dapper and the proscribed mental negligibilty of the minds who like him that his audience will act out the words. In the top-down drive to create compliance and control in all things, words are on a par with actions.
When Cardiff Student Union called for Dapper’s performance to be cancelled, I wondered how many students would look at the ban and only then go and see him? Lots. All of the youth who think belonging to any union and having the youth officials pick what you can see is ridiculous. The answer was none. The university gig was cancelled lest it upset people.
And now Dapper Laughs is back.
Why is the brash in-yer-facer making another stab at it? Well, and here the sad just keeps on getting sadder, he says he’s been “100%” violated by a media campaign against his act. He has been “bullied”.
He tells the BBC – and, yes, that is the safe BBC; the totem of the uncool that with its outside broadcast trucks and nice presenters has turned Glastonbury from fun to mum:
“Freedom of speech. I understand with freedom of speech comes consequences. Again, I feel like I was bullied out of it. If you take the whole situation that happened over those three days (when O’Reilly killed off his Dapper Laughs character) and done that now, a week after that situation (Charlie Hebdo) I think the outcome would have been completely different. If I wanted to at the time I could have tried to rally all of my fans together and say, ‘look at what they’re doing to me, come on help’, but I didn’t.”
It took mass murder for them to wake up to the importance of free speech. And even then what was a campaign for freedom to offend was turned into a watery unity protest. “Je suis Charlie,” they mouthed. But no-one wanted to be him.
“I felt completely bullied out of it. I come from quite a rough background, I don’t mind saying it. I’m working class, I know that my humour caters for that type of lad, or whatever, humour. But the majority of people at my shows are women. The audience is more heavy [to] women. The audience is mixed, so I understand the upper class – different types of people – like different types of humour. They’re not going to like my humour, I understand that. But they’ve bullied me out of continuing to do what I wanted to do. And when they portrayed my humour to the masses, to the UK, they done it in a way where they showed everything’s falling apart, the rape joke and everything like that. Yeah, I felt bullied, I felt it was unfair really, to be honest.”
Oh, no. It’s pathetic, Dapper. Stop. Make it stop. To seek absolution, love and acceptance to the safe zone is death by a thousand cuts.
He then says that people “wishing that my dad had cancer and would die” hurt because his father was actually battling cancer at the time.
And with that he vanished up his own posterior. Dapper, mate, the right to offend cuts both ways. Save your family illnesses for the X Fatcor. It’s nasty online. People says horrible things. But you should brush it off as you ask others to. And ask yourself what Bernard Manning would have done?
He’d have got his own comedy club and set the rules.
Here’s the master at work on the BBC. No need to have to word ”Laughs’ in your name to remind people that you’re supposed to be funny when you’re act proves that you are very, very funny: