Following an absolute firestorm of complaints, and an online petition that has garnered over 65,000 signatories in only a few days, ITV have announced that they are indeed going to be pulling ‘Dapper Laughs – On the Pull’ from their channel ITV2. Or, in their exact words:
‘We have given careful thought to the recent criticism of the character Dapper Laughs, which has focused on his activities outside of the ITV2 programme, whose content was carefully considered and complied. We have taken the decision that we will not be considering this show for a second series.’
Leaving that non-apology apology aside for a mo, this is all round good news for anyone with a vagina, and also for anyone who feels that people with vaginas are, well, people.
Dapper Laughs, real name Daniel O’Reilly, rose to ‘fame’ through his Vine channel, where he cut his comedy teeth posting short videos of himself making sexist jokes, discussing the size of his penis, engaging in ‘banter’ and generally acting like a ‘lad’ (‘banter’ and ‘lad’ being two words that should strike fear into the hearts of any and all who prefer not to be groped by a cackling stranger while in the queue for the bar).
His status upgraded to sewer-level television celeb after ITV began screening his show ‘Dapper Laughs – On the Pull’ in September 2014, a programme in which he offered participants his unique perspective on dating, which seemed to mainly involve harassing women, blurring the lines of consent, and just generally being a gurning postulant of modern misogyny.
But calm down, dear! It’s all just a bit of banter, after all! Don’t take everything so seriously, you hysterical man-hating sluts! And you’re ugly, too!…..Or so Dapper Laughs’ defenders have been screechingly Tweeting at us over the past week or so, like misanthropic banshees hopped up on malibu and the sweet smell of patriarchy in the morning.
For those who exist, and who have existed, in an outwardly female form, having your thoughts, opinions and emotions invalidated, belittled and generally erased, is nothing new. Historically, the easiest way to shut feminists up has been to tell them to stop being silly, over-emotional little girls. While campaigns such as the brilliant Everyday Sexism are making a valiant attempt to drag misogyny kicking and screaming into the 21st century and then step on its neck until it quits thrashing, the fact that people like Mr Laughs can even get a show green-lit in the first place suggests the surface has only just been scratched.
Yes, ITV have cancelled Dapper Laughs, but according to their statement they have cancelled him for the wrong reasons. Instead of cancelling him because his television show was a chauvinistic mess of epic proportions, they’ve cancelled him because they couldn’t stand the heat, and decided to get out of the kitchen while the getting was still good.
Even so, the fact that the show was cancelled at all counts as a win. One very questionable TV programme getting pulled off air may not seem like much of a big victory, but in the words of Simon Pegg, it’s a war, not a battle.
@thebigragoo666 Personal is political. You start where you can make a difference. Change one mind at a time. It's a war not a battle.
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) June 27, 2014