Daniel O’Reilly, the comedian behind character Dapper Laughs who is known for phrases such as “Oi Oi”, “proper moist” and of course, “she’s gagging for a rape,” has attempted to defend his reasons for making the comments that halted his career last year.
When O’Reilly was filmed at a gig making a rape joke last October, before telling the audience that a woman in the crowd was “gagging for a rape,” he lost his TV show and cancelled his tour due to the backlash, in which 68,000 people had signed a petition calling for him to be taken off TV. He later claimed in an interview with Newsnight that he had killed off the Dapper Laughs character.
But O’Reilly has begun gigging again, and in an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine this weekend he has attempted to defend the jokes he made that night, while seeking to assure people that “I have never said I condone rape”.
At the time, O’Reilly’s TV show as Dapper Laughs had been condemned as a “rapist’s almanac” and the comedian delivered the joke in response to this criticism.
“If it was a guide to rape, I would have done one five-minute episode, come on and go 'Oi oi, I'm Dapper Laughs, go down the shops, get some rope, bit of duct tape, rape the b**ch, well done, see you later,” he is seen telling the audience in the footage of the gig posted online.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Magazine, O’Reilly said: “At the end of that footage I shout at the audience, ‘You can’t rape!’, but that always gets edited out,” he said.
This part of the footage has been documented however, after which a male heckler has been heard replying “Yes you can!”.
“As for the ‘gagging for a rape’ comment, I was repeating what a woman in the audience said. She shouted, ‘My friend Lisa loves you, she’s gagging for a rape.’ I then reply over the microphone with ‘What? She’s gagging for a rape?’”
O’Reilly claimed that the media had used a “small, cleverly edited piece of footage” against him in the ensuing aftermath of the gig, adding that many fans had rushed to his defence.
Despite his attempt to defend his jokes, O’Reilly said he has not made any jokes about rape in his latest work.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies