On Full Frontal Wednesday night, Samantha Bee put the spotlight on a group that has not gotten as much attention within the #MeToo movement: men. No, not the male perpetrators, who are getting plenty of attention, but the male victims of sexual harassment and misconduct. The movement has been primarily focused on female victims, making it easy to forget that men can be (and increasingly are) harmed by sexual assault, too. Bee pointed out that about one in every 33 American men has been the victim of rape or attempted rape.
“Men are vastly more likely to be sexually assaulted than to be falsely accused of rape,” she said. “Sexual assault of men is a real problem, and not a joke—despite the way we tend to talk about it.” She then showed a disturbing montage of jokes about male-on-male sexual assault and prison rape, told by everyone from comedians to Kentucky state policemen to TV news analysts—even Spongebob Squarepants was guilty of a distasteful “don’t drop the soap” line. Bee called out the people making these jokes, even challenging herself to do a better part in the conversation about male sexual assault.
“We talk about #MeToo like it’s only a women’s movement, but many of the predators in the #MeToo era preyed on men—#MenToo,” Bee said. “When we laugh at their victims, we make it easier for them to keep Kevin Spacey-ing all over the place.”
The segment ended with a lighthearted but firm PSA from actor Terry Crews, who disclosed last year that he was the victim of an alleged sexual assault. “Maybe this happened to you: You’re a funny guy and you’re telling a joke that’s real edgy. Maybe it’s about prison rape. Maybe it’s about boys getting molested. Either way, it’s not getting the laugh you want. I’m here to tell you how to solve that problem,” he says, with a charming smile. “Stop telling those fucking jokes.”
Then Bee chimes in to help Crews demonstrate all the things that are funnier than rape jokes—which is pretty much anything. “The most important thing to remember is, you don’t need to do jokes about assault to be funny.”