Comedian Tom Walker, who plays a spoof of a British political pundit, has come under fire after making “rape jokes” to prove a point about free speech that offended students during a debate at Cambridge University.
Walker’s fictional character, Jonathan Pie, has recently become a viral sensation after his unfiltered rants against political correctness or Hillary Clinton and a passionate defense of free speech were viewed by millions of people.
But the comedian got into hot water after he made provocative jokes about rape during the Cambridge debate last week.
According to The Tab, which found out about his remarks only through eyewitness reports as the university’s Union Society doesn’t allow filming and didn’t provide a transcript of the debate, the comedian made multiple jokes about rape. But he kept reminding the attendees that his speech is in character and often started his sentences with “speaking as a rapist” or “speaking as a sexual predator.”
Walker began joking that the main reason he came to the university was to have sex with a Cambridge student, adding that there were 36-37 women in the audience that he would have sex with.
He continued his routine, saying he had attended a useless sexual consent class in the morning and joked that asking for verbal consent in any kind of sexual act, including anal play, is ridiculous.
The comedian also said “one in three women … are being fingered right now in this room,” mocking a popular statistic that one in three women have experienced sexual violence.
An audience member reportedly called out Walker, prompting him to defend his remarks on the basis of free speech and telling students that he was speaking as an “arrogant” and “misogynistic” character.
Following the event, Walker spoke with the publication and defended his remarks, saying: “No, I wasn’t playing Jonathan Pie as was made fairly clear in the speech, I was playing a persona, to make a controversial point knowing it was controversial so that I could defend someone’s right to be controversial.
“Offence is taken not given […] and I would argue that if anyone was genuinely offended by it then, clearly, they didn’t understand the satire of, or the irony of it. But I’m not stupid enough to not know that I was broaching a contentious issue.”
He added: “I was aware that it was possibly contentious, but what was really interesting is that people were genuinely having decent discussion about it afterwards, which was truly the point of that [the Cambridge Union] society: to create debate and to create discussion, and so in that respect I think it worked.”