Recently, Hulu’s new Amy Poehler-produced series "Difficult People" has come under fire for a joke that star Julie Klausner makes in the first episode, in which her misanthrope-comedienne character gets in trouble for an offensive joke she posted online. The joke? "I can’t wait for Blue Ivy to be old enough so R. Kelly can piss on her."
In a predictable case of art imitating life, people on Twitter have taken umbrage at the insensitive remark, with many calling out the show’s producer Amy Poehler. While Poehler did not write or deliver the offending joke, in an interview with EW, Klausner explained that Poehler “could not have been more hands-on” in developing the show and that she “did not only give notes on every script, she gave notes on every draft of every outline."
It can be tough to determine where exactly a joke falls on the spectrum between tasteless and unforgivable, and in Poehler and Klausner's defense, this line isn't introduced as something for the audience to laugh at, but as an example of the character's crude, foot-in-mouth humor (which she gets chastised and punished for throughout the entire episode).
Then again, this particular joke does make light of some pretty atrocious subject matter. Here's a quote from Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago Sun-Times reporter who broke the R.Kelly story after receiving a video of R. Kelly allegedly having sex with an underage girl back in 2002 (Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008).
“I think in the history of rock & roll, rock-music or pop-culture people misbehaving and behaving badly sexually with young women, rare is the amount of evidence compiled against anyone apart from R. Kelly. Dozens of girls — not one, not two, dozens — with harrowing lawsuits. The videotapes — and not just one videotape, numerous video tapes. And not Tommy Lee/Pam Anderson, Kardashian fun video. You watch the video for which he was indicted and there is the disembodied look of the rape victim. He orders her to call him Daddy. He urinates in her mouth and instructs her at great length on how to position herself to receive his ‘gift.’ It’s a rape that you’re watching. So we’re not talking about rock-star misbehavior, which men or women can do. We’re talking about predatory behavior. Their lives were ruined.”
Poehler and Klausner have yet to weigh in.
Watch the clip below.
[jwplayer file="http://media.salon.com/2015/08/Difficult-People-on-Blue-Ivy.mp4" image="http://media.salon.com/2015/08/Screen-Shot-2015-08-19-at-11.42.17-AM.jpg"][/jwplayer]