Friday, January 3, 2014

Leggero's SpaghettiO's "Controversy" Highlights Actually Controversial Subject Matter

[Image text: Carson Daly and Natasha Leggero on NYE.]
[Content note: violence, rape culture, misogyny, gendered slurs]

I hadn't heard a peep about this until a friend posted a link on Facebook, but apparently comedian Natasha Leggero made some comments about Pearl Harbor survivors that really pissed off team misogyny on New Year's Eve.

According to the Daily Mail (gag):

[Carson] Daly asked the guests about an insensitive tweet that Spaghettios sent on Peal Harbor Day...The company had tweeted a picture of its SpaghettiOs mascot holding an American flag and asking people to 'take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us' - which some saw as a tasteless marketing ploy
...Leggero then added: 'It sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew.'
...As the segment aired, viewers were not impressed.
'Natasha Leggero just made a joke about the SpaghettiOs Pearl Harbor tweet that was probably more offensive than the tweet itself,' one viewer wrote on Twitter.
'Making fun of Pearl Harbor vets? Changing channel. Disgusting. Really NBC?' another said.
One other viewer added on the network's Facebook page: 'Shame on you, NBC, for making fun of the WWII vets.' 
I've never been much of a fan of Leggero (except maybe on Burning Love!), but she issued a statement on her blog today that I actually found pretty interesting. Here's a snippet:
I wish I could apologize, but do you really want another insincere apology that you know is just an attempt at damage control and not a real admission of guilt? Let me just try instead to be honest.
I’m not sorry. I don’t think the amazing courage of American veterans and specifically those who survived Pearl Harbor is in any way diminished by a comedian making a joke about dentures on television. Do we really believe that the people who fought and defended our freedom against Nazis and the Axis powers will find a joke about Spaghetti O’s too much to bear? Sorry, I have more respect for Veterans than to think their honor can be impugned by a glamorous, charming comedian in a fur hat.
She goes on to "offer another perspective" and explains that the real things to get mad about include the inadequate support services offered to veterans once they are home. But the really interesting piece of her statement to me, was at the very start. She wrote,
It’s been a busy few days but rest assured, I have received all of your messages and have been busy sifting through the different creatively misspelled death threats, rape fantasies and most of all repeated use of the the C word. In the past few days I have been called a cunt so much I felt like I was in a British pub rooting for the wrong soccer team.
She even includes a link through to a image she compiled of some of the tweets she's received. Let me just add an extra trigger warning if you decide to click through to's truly the worst of the worst.

So let me summarize...a female comedian makes a joke about Pearl Harbor survivors having difficulty chewing food and people are so offended that they respond with every gendered slur under the sun and rape and death threats.

How do these people not see a disparity in the level of comments here? On one hand we have a crack at denture related troubles (a cheap one yes, but whatever.) On the other we have extremely violent, misogynistic, hate filled, scary ass venom spewed by hundreds of people.

I understand that some people (coughthefarrightcough) think that veterans are a totally untouchable group (how did this turn to veterans anyway...she said Pearl Harbor survivors generally, those aren't necessarily one in the same, but I digress). It's fine to be offended by Leggero's comments...but if they wanted to call her out for the joke (which again, seems fairly tame to me when we still have the Michael Richards and Daniel Tosh's of the world) then they could have done so by making their case through explanation and reason. NOT by threatening violence and calling her every misogynistic word under the sun.

It really is amazing to me that she would catch this much shit for this whole thing. Heaven knows that I am among the first to call out shitty, oppressive jokes but this, at worst, seems to be just crass or insensitive. Certainly no where near the level of saying...
Get some perspective, people. It's almost like you hate women or something...Oh wait.

Please see the commenting policy before replying to this post.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This blog has strict comment moderation intended to preserve a safe space. Moderation is managed solely by the blog author. As such, even comments made in good faith will be on a short delay, so please do not attempt to resubmit your comment if it does not immediately appear. Discussion and thoughtful participation are encouraged, but abusive comments of any type will never be published. The blog author reserves the right to publish/delete any comments for any reason, at her sole discretion.

TL;DR Troll comments are never published, so don't waste your time.