Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of ‘straight white male’ to the racial slur as ‘very incendiary,’ but he said he’s not sorry.
The host of ‘Ginormous Food’ appeared on Van Lathan’s podcast ‘The Red Pill’ on Tuesday.
He said he has received death threats over the Friday tweet making the comparison amid a slew of criticism. While unapologetic, he told Lathan: ‘I take responsibility for it. I said those things.’
Denny dropped several N-bombs during his nearly hour-and-a-half-long appearance on the podcast, including some after Lathan objected. That, said Lathan, is ‘unbelievably telling.’
Comedian Josh Denny appeared on Van Lathan’s podcast ‘The Red Pill’ on Tuesday to discuss the tweet and repeatedly said the n-word while being interviewed, even when asked to stop.
The Friday tweet read: ”Straight White Male’ has become this century’s N-Word. It’s used to offend and diminish the recipient based on assumption and bias. No difference in the usage.’
In the aftermath, older tweets by Denny dating to 2012 had him spelling out the N-word and making disparaging remarks about Asian women. On ‘The Red Pill,’ Denny called those tweets ‘dark jokes,’ adding: ‘Do you think nobody enjoys dark comedy, and do you think that anybody that does enjoy dark comedy, that it’s indicative of a deeper evil?’
Lathan responded, in part, ‘those tweets are pretty vile.’
When Denny uttered the full N-word on the podcast, Lathan responded: ‘Could you not use the word because it’s very, it’s a little unnerving.’ Denny used the slur three more times, once as he recounted one of his old jokes, prompting Lathan to object a second time: ‘Why would you say that again if I told you it made me uncomfortable?’
Denny responded: ‘Because it’s in the joke. I’m quoting the joke.’
The Ginormous food host tweeted on Friday that the phrase ‘straight white male’ has become this century’s n-word, sparking outrage online
Lathan: ‘Josh, just chill dog.’ He called Denny’s repeat use of the slur ‘unbelievably telling to me.’
Lathan also works for the gossip and entertainment site TMZ.
Repeated emails and telephone calls seeking comment from Food Network spokespeople were not immediately returned. Several messages left for Lathan by The Associated Press also went unanswered.
Denny took to Twitter on Friday to share his thoughts with his 117,000 followers.
”Straight White Male’ has become this century’s N-Word. It’s used to offend and diminish the recipient based on assumption and bias. No difference in the usage,’ the 34-year-old tweeted.
However the tweet quickly blew up with 11,000 comments, many firing back at the comedian accusing him of being tone-deaf.
‘Comparing ‘SWM’ with the N-word is outrageously tone-deaf, inane, and wildly false. I don’t care how ‘persecuted’ by ‘racism’ you feel as a white dude, if you think use of the term is equivalent to a slur arising from centuries of SLAVERY AND SEGREGATION, you’re crazy,’ Twitter user Mark Hughes tweeted in reply.
He claimed that the phrase causes others to see him through a negative lens, as ‘straight white male’ has negative stereotypes associated with it
However many were quick to criticize the host for his bold statement, such as this man who wrote ‘From one straight white male to another: F*** You’
Actor Don Cheadle tweeted a curt but powerful response to the Food Network host
Even Dictionary.com weighed in on the controversy saying the n-word is the most offensive word in the English language
Screenwriter Mark Hughes also commented on the matter, explaining that Denny’s statement was ‘tone-deaf, inane, and wildly false’
‘A massacre happens in country where white males w/guns overwhelmingly commit attacks amid rising white nationalism & gun ownership, & you react by finger-wagging that talking a/b white male privilege & aggression is = to racial slurs against oppressed minorities? GTFO of here’, he added.
Denny justified his statement saying the term ‘straight white male’ devalues his experience as it labels him a certain way.
He added that shooters have often been described as straight white male, adding a negative connotation to the phrase.
‘You don’t think SWM is being used the same way? Twitter search it. All shootings, all oppression; everything is blamed on SWM’s… But not all SWM’s are responsible for the actions of few,’ he tweeted in response to one user.
‘We will only eliminate racism, bigotry, and discrimination when we stop thinking of people and discussing society in those terms. Saying ‘this person can’t think this because they’re this’ is why we are a nation divided,’ he added.
However Twitter users fired back saying the the n-word is a derogatory term that carries the weight of slavery and segregation with it – a stark difference from ‘straight white male’ which simply describes one’s identity.
‘I understand what you are trying to say, but woof. Straight white male might be used to discuss your personal opinion, but the N -word is used to dismiss people as humans. Not equivalent. Not even close,’ one user explained.
‘Seeing how you’ve never been called the n word, I don’t think you have the right to compare to anything as benign as SWM,’ another user wrote.
Even Dictionary.com weighed in on the controversy.
‘The n-word is considered the most offensive word in the English language. ‘Straight white male’ is … not,’ the website tweeted.
One user urged angry users to ignore him and prevent him from getting more online publicity
Others did their best to understand and explain why his point of view was problematic
Call him out: One user said Denny shouldn’t speak on experiences he does not understand
Just saying: Another said he disproved his point in his own tweet by not writing out the n-word
One user explained that the n-word in a derogatory term that was designed to reinforce racism
She continued to say that the identifiers straight, white, and male do not carry a negative connotation and are therefore not nearly as offensive
One user pointed out that it was white straight males that used the n-word in the first place
He responded saying he had nothing to do with slavery, not acknowledging the Twitter user’s other points
Many were simply floored with Denny’s bold statement.
‘From one straight white male to another: F***. Yooooooouuuuuu,’ one user wrote.
‘Josh, bud, if it don’t apply let it fly. The defense you’re playing right now makes u seem so guilty,’ one person wrote.
‘I think Josh Denny is looking for a come up so he decided to piss off the African Americans. Ignore him. You won’t get a Netflix special out of us, bro,’ another added.
One user wrote: ”Straight White Male’ is as offensive as the ‘n-word’, then why did you not type out the actual ‘n-word.”
Several users took time to give lengthy explanations that refuted Denny’s statement.
‘I’m sorry, but that reasoning is seriously flawed. The ‘n-word’ is negative by dictionary definition, hence the reason why it was the word of choice to define a group of ppl who were looked upon as lesser beings. 1 It was a control mechanism, designed to continually reinforce racism. The definitions of ‘straight’, ‘white’ and ‘male’ are not negative in connotation in any way. To make the comparison is oversimplification of the highest order,’ another user schooled.
Not the same thing! This Twitter user discounted Denny’s argument saying ‘straight white male’ is not synonymous with a disgraceful history of abuse and hate
Sharp Twitter users combed through Denny’s tweets and found shocking offensive posts
In one shocking tweet he says he would buy all free slaves back if he won the lottery
In another he says: ‘Are black people just the holocaust Jews that survived all of it?’
‘But isn’t that what you are a straight white & male?And you equate that with Racial epithet. That carries over 400 years of murder, rape, stolen, lives sold children. As a Woman of African descent I don’t know if purposely went there. But really. StraightWhiteMales used that word,’ another Twitter user added.
In response Denny said: ‘400 years of activities I had nothing to do with’.
As many spewed angry comments at the comedian, he replied to many in what he called a ‘healthy debate and dialogue’.
Curious followers went through the host’s tweets and unearthed several controversial posts with racist and misogynist tones.
In a tweet from August 2012 he wrote: Hey Chinese girl at the pool: please close your legs. No one wants to see your slanty p****.’
Months later in December he wrote: ‘Are black people just the holocaust Jews that survived all of it?’
In January 2016 he wrote: ‘First things first, I’m gonna buy back all the freed slaves! #WorstPowerBallWinners’.
In March 2014 he wrote a disturbing tweet that said: ‘You ever hate a b****’s guts so much that you want her to get gang-raped in holes that don’t exist yet? #ithinkitwouldmakeherabetterperson.
Outraged Twitter users have tweeted The Food Network fervently to get him booted off the channel.
Food Network has not responded to the public outrage.