In an era in which the controversial comment by a public figure followed a contrite social media walk of shame is now a near daily event, kudos to those brave souls who ... stand firm in their awfulness? This week, there's Damon Wayans (the elder), winner of this week's award for excellence in petard hoisting.
On Friday, the 55 year-old comic appeared on New York radio's Power 105 "Breakfast Club" show to talk about his career in comedy. Near the end of the conversation, host Angela Yee asked, "What advice would you give to Bill Cosby right now?" and his reply was… unusual.
"Tell the truth,” he responded. "If I was him, I would divorce my wife, wink wink, give her all my money and then I would go to a deposition. I'd light one of those three-hour cigars. I’d have me some wine and maybe a Quaalude. I would just go off, because I don't believe he was raping. I think he was in relationships with all of them. And then he's like, it's 78, it don't work no more. I can't get it up with any of you all. Bye bitches. And they're like, oh, really? Rape."
When he added, "How big is his penis that it gives you amnesia for 40 years?" Yee pressed him, noting that some of his accusers have been saying for several years that Cosby assaulted them. But Wayans rebutted, "If you listen to them talk, they go, 'Well, the first time ...' The first time? Bitch, how many times did it happen? Just listen to what they're saying. And some of them really [are] unrapeable. I just look at them and go, 'You don't want that. Get out of here."
Wayans further claimed, "I understand fame. I've lived it. Women will throw themselves at you…. Sit back, looking at it, I just don't believe it. I think it's a money hustle." Yee then said that she recalled her own mother telling her that she'd known someone Cosby had drugged, and Wayans acknowledged that "There may be" victims and that "For them, my heart goes out to them. For anybody who was raped by Bill Cosby, I'm sorry and I hope you get justice."
I mean, I guess as long as they're sufficiently rapeable. But he added, "You other bitches? Look, he gave me two pills? He wasn't a doctor."
Unsurprisingly, the interview was not a rousing success. Many listeners were horrified at Wayans' remarks, and news agencies soon picked up on the story in a series of startled headlines. So Wayans, feeling defensive, then took to social media to demand on Twitter, "Stop twisting my words. Watch the entire interview before u condemn me!"
Okay, sure. If you care to watch the interview, you can see Wayans sitting in the studio, and watch the words coming out of his mouth. Words like "unrapeable" and "money hustle" and "bitch." But on Twitter, Wayans repeatedly posted a clip of just the part where he said, "For them, my heart goes out to them. For anybody who was raped by Bill Cosby, I'm sorry and I hope you get justice," conveniently leaving out the rest, which feels like a textbook definition of word twisting. He also went on a weekend splurge of retweeting praise from his fans, who were eager to tell the comic, "you inspired me" and "thanks for being authentic and honest about your thoughts on bill cosby, people can't take honesty in 2015 anymore."
Wayans is entirely entitled to his "honesty." He is entitled to believe that the dozens of women whose stories bear a remarkable consistency and span several decades are all in it for a money hustle, because right, we all know how lucrative saying you've been sexually assaulted is. He is entitled to selectively post a clip of him saying his heart goes out to anyone who's been raped by Bill Cosby while claiming he's been the victim of a media that quoted his other gross remarks out of context.
But he can post that clip all he wants, and he can retweet the fawning adulation of his diehard fans all he wants. And he can ask that we watch the whole thing, because when we do, we can see quite clearly the revolting mindset of a person who thinks lacking in empathy is funny, and who doesn't understand that all that it takes to be "rapeable" is to be a human being.