Raise Your Voice

Thousands sign petition to get Daniel Tosh off Comedy Central amid new animated series

Thousands sign petition to get Daniel Tosh off Comedy Central amid new animated series

Austin photo: News_Mike_Tosh Followup_Brickleberry
Courtesy of Comedy Central
Austin photo: News_Mike_Tosh Followup_Daniel Tosh
Courtesy of Comedy Central
Austin photo: News_Mike_Tosh Followup_Brickleberry
Austin photo: News_Mike_Tosh Followup_Daniel Tosh

If you're sick of hearing his name, my sincere apologies. I'm with you.

But if you'd like to never hear his name again, there is a petition at change.org to request that Comedy Central's CEO take Daniel Tosh off the air once and for all. At the time of this writing, nearly 35,000 individuals have signed it, with a set goal of 50,000 signatures. So, it seems this is one way to have your voice heard.

Keep in mind, however, that his Internet's Funniest Home Videos show, Tosh.0, is the network's No. 1 rated show, and he is an executive producer and voice talent on a new animated series called Brickleberry coming to Comedy Central in the fall. So whether the executives are interested in listening to a petition is another story.

The new animated series, which debuted to an underwhelming crowd at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, did have to get a thorough editing job before it was screened. The producers smartly realized, given the current attitudes toward a noticeably absent Tosh from the panel, that they should probably remove the rape jokes from the pilot. (There weren't a lot, and the jokes were about a bear, but still... smart to err on the side of not-Internet-flameworthy.)

Is Daniel Tosh a bad guy? Hopefully not. More likely, he's — like most men in America — not aware that rape is a profoundly more real danger for women in their everyday lives.

Will he eventually emerge from this controversy unscathed? Probably, but smarter about the nature of audiences and his impact on them.

Boundary-crossing humor will continue to proliferate in stand-up comedy and TV shows like Family Guy, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and South Park. Banning it doesn't work, we've learned. Neither does telling people to lighten up. But accepting blame when something is taken too far and using it as a learning moment does.

This exercise has served as a pivotal moment in pop culture where a single instance of ignorance — intentional or not — ignited a torch of necessary dialogue regarding the prevalence of rape in America, the disparity between women's and men's experiences and the role of the comedian in society.

Hopefully, we're not done talking about these issues. But, for the love of all that's holy, I'm done looking at these photos of this Tosh guy smiling, m'kay?