In a roast that is getting more and more controversial by the hour, news outlets are now reporting that Comedy Central censored jokes involving former boxing champ Mike Tyson and his past rape conviction. For those too young to remember, Tyson was convicted in 1992 of sexually assaulting a woman by the name of Desiree Washington. Without getting into Tyson’s guilt or innocence, I’ll just say that the whole incident is still – understandably – a very sore subject for many people.
According to The Daily Beast, “Already culturally defanged by his appearances in the Hangover films, Tyson’s rehabilitation took another step forward as he joined the crew and sat gamely by, laughing his head off on the couch as comics took playful jabs at his record of sexual assault. William Shatner in particular distinguished himself with an extended bit walking the former champion through the right way to rape a woman and get away with it…”
It turns out that Shatner was not the only comic who wrote jokes about Tyson’s past run-in with the law. Comedian Anthony Jeselnik revealed to MTV that, “I had all these rape jokes for him and they were killing. One is, ‘Mike Tyson, you’re the most likeable guy, everyone likes you, even the girl you raped lost $50 on the Holyfield fight.’”
The boxing match Jeselnik is referring to took place on Nov. 9, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Were these jokes to insensitive to air in front of millions of viewers, or should Comedy Central have allowed them broadcast?
Check out a clip of Jeselnik prior to the Roast, courtesy of YouTube: