Writer Calls Comedian Kurt Metzger Pro Rape; Sparks Outrage

Comedian Kurt Metzger Called “Pro-Rape” by Daily Beast Writer Prompting Fans and Friends to Defend Him

On Monday, a writer for the Daily Beast sparked intense anger from the comedy community when she posted a story about Kurt Metzger calling him “Pro-Rape.” In the story, writer Libby Torres expresses anger that a “pro-rape” comedian could get a gig with the already controversial tv series “Who Is America?” starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Metzger is listed as a writer for the show. The new Showtime series from the creator of Ali G has been the subject of acclaim and criticism for its content and its methodology.

“Kurt Metzger faced an avalanche of criticism for harassing feminist critics and defending a comedian accused of rape. Now he’s part of Sacha Baron Cohen’s all-male writing team,” Torres proclaims in her article titled “The Pro-Rape Comedian is Writing for Sacha Baron Cohen’s This Is America?” Torres complains that “it appears that Metzger has gone largely unscathed by his tendency to spew misogynist rhetoric online” and says Metzger’s involvement on the show will raise eyebrows.

Torres, of course, is referring to a 2016 incident where Kurt posted some strong thoughts on social media after a comedian was accused of rape on social media, and the discussions elevated quickly. Metzger felt too quickly, and without commenting about whether in this case the allegations were true or false, he lambasted those taking on a mob mentality without actual knowledge of the situation.

Although she quotes some of Metzger’s admittedly inflammatory comments, the problem with Ms. Torres’ story is that none of her quotes demonstrate that Metzger is pro-rape, and in fact, he has never to our knowledge made a pro-rape comment. And if she had read our articles on the subject, she would know that not only is Metzger vehemently anti-rape, she would know that in the incident she describes involving alleged rapist Aaron Glaser, Metzger later apologized profusely for his social media commentary, saying that he talked to the victim in the story (he called her Jane Doe) and said that the abuse she described was “beyond horrific” and in fact “so awful that it has fucked him up.” In a radio interview with Ron Bennington, Metzger said, “What she told me makes me so angry…. What she told me was so upsetting…I’m not blowing her spot up…it will come out.” He said he regretted being “cavalier” in his earlier statements, saying “She didn’t deserve this to happen to her. Nobody deserves this shit and I can assure you I will never be that cavalier again. And that’s not pressure on me. It’s what I believe.” Hardly the words of a pro-rape individual.

His earlier statements which Ms. Torres describes as “pro-rape” were in fact, not pro-rape at all. They may have been blunt and even insensitive (by his own admission), but the comments were aimed at reactionary politics and the people who jump to conclusions on Facebook without personal involvement or knowledge.They have never at any point been pro-rape.

And to call Metzger largely unscathed by fallout from the incident is also inaccurate. No one can know what career advances may have been foregone as a result of the controversy, and in fact the series he wrote for at the time, Inside never returned despite being greenlit for a fifth season. And Kurt himself has said that on a personal level, he was pretty “scathed” even hinting that he himself might have been the victim of abuse in his younger days.

Other publications have also questioned whether Metzger should be hireable, including Jezebel, The Forward, The Cut, and Refinery 29.

Media competition is at an all-time high and the pressure to get clicks undoubtedly intense, but Ms. Torres and The Daily Beast have waded into some very dangerous territory that quotation marks should not excuse. And if you are going to suggest that someone should be forever unhirable, perhaps more careful research into their alleged transgressions are in order.

On Tuesday, many friends and fans took to social media urging Metzger to take legal action, calling the comments defamatory. Kurt himself chose not to comment directly on the subject, and instead plugged an upcoming gig at Magooby’s.

Here’s what comedians, comedy industry and some fans are saying about the story:

https://twitter.com/morgan_murphy/status/1019330874460868608

https://twitter.com/TheKateWolff/status/1019353771384721408

https://twitter.com/NotAlexis/status/1019286153915191296

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