They did it. They went there.
And so they should have.
Poehler and Fey just hosted the Golden Globes for the third and final time. They couldn’t really, truly, in all good conscience, not make a rape joke about Bill Cosby. Because of who they are (comedians), what they represent (feminism) and the enormous megaphone they had been presented with (the Globes are watched by millions worldwide).
More than 20 women have accused 77-year-old Cosby of sexually assaulting them, and not one of them has seen justice. Poehler-Fey chose to avenge those women in the best way they know how: with a well-timed joke.
That is how you make a roomful of celebrities extremely uncomfortable.
This is real, dangerous comedy in action. If you ask me, it’s fucking magnificent. It’s also a very short masterclass in telling a rape joke: By targeting the alleged perpetrator, not the alleged victims.
Obviously, the act or allegation of rape is never funny. It’s horrific and unforgivable. We know that.
But we also know that rape victims are routinely silenced and that male entertainers are forgiven their sins when they’re successful. We’ve watched entertainers like Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville face court for what they allegedly did to women in the ’80s. Too much time has passed for Cosby to be tried for the crimes allegedly committed by him – but if he did anything comparable to those men – he shouldn’t be able to get away with it.
Poehler and Fey made their Cosby joke so that we don’t forget the serious, heinous allegations made against yet another famous guy. Mentioning him — and even better, doing an impression of him — is their way of holding Cosby accountable for the accusations made, when the legal system can’t and Hollywood won’t.