Controversy Archives - The Laugh Button

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  • T.J. Miller at the Crunchies Awards 2015, he won’t be coming back

    TJOn Saturday TechCrunch responded to a firestorm over the offensive performance of the emcee of its annual Crunchies awards Thursday night, saying Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller won’t be asked back. Miller started the show edgy and then went headlong over the edge after getting into a verbal joust with Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s date, during which he called her a “bitch” more than once. Gabi Holzwarth, Kalanick’s date, forgave Miller in a tweet right after the show but added later in another,”10 yrs ago, I was called a bitch…not ok. Yesterday I was called a bitch… still not ok. Let’s try moving away from that word. #stayclassy” The situation puts the spotlight back on gender diversity in Silicon Valley’s tech community and echoes an incident at a TechCrunch hackathon in the fall of 2013 after which the tech news site issued an apology and adopted an anti-harassment policy for its events. For those who don’t remember, one of the pitches at that hackathon involved an app concept built around men staring at women’s breasts. Another involved a guy simulating masturbation during his pitch. Miller clearly violated that policy and it took TechCrunch two days to acknowledge that officially. Read More

    Satirists respond to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy

    Charlie HebdoIt’s been a very surreal few days for comedy, first a comedian is viciously attacked on stage followed shortly after the senseless terrorist attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo killing 12 and critically wounding 11 others while the attackers, who are thought to be Islamic extremists and 2 of the 3 suspects are still at large. By now, most of social media has shared many of the great responses other news organizations and political cartoonists, linking through #JeSuisCharlie which translated means, “I Am Charlie.” The slogan showed up in Times Square, the Eiffel Tower went dark in the victims’ honor. Hell, even Fake Banksy felt appropriate to weigh in.

    Last night comedian Louis C.K. wore a handmade red Charlie Hebdo t-shirt on stage, a stark departure from his usual black-toned tee. But Louis wasn’t the only one, here’s how the comedy community weighed in on the situation. Read More

    NBC scraps plans for Bill Cosby sitcom

    Bill CosbyThings have gone from bad to worse for Bill Cosby. Hot on the heels of Netflix’s decision to postpone the release of Bill Cosby’s new stand-up special, NBC has followed suit and scraped plans for a new family based sitcom with the comedian set for 2015.

    The untitled NBC sitcom had Cosby starring front and center as the family patriarch patriarch and father of three married daughters with children. NBC committed earlier this year and already lined up Mike Sikowitz (Rules of Engagement) and Mike O’Malley (Glee, Shameless) to write and produce the sitcom. O’Malley was also set to co-star.

    We feel like a broken record repeating this story but NBC’s comes on the heels of decades-old rape allegations resurfacing for Cosby which lead to accusers to come forth publicly, a bad NPR interview which he refused to answer questions, the cancellation of TV appearances, and now Netflix and NBC severing ties with the comedian.

    Netflix postpones the release of Bill Cosby’s new stand-up special for the foreseeable future

    Bill Cosby 77Yikes!

    With Bill Cosby currently not winning in the court of public opinion stemming from the resurgence of sexual assault allegations, Netflix has decided to postpone the planned release of Cosby’s new stand-up special, Bill Cosby 77 for the foreseeable future. In a statement released today the company revealed, “At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand up comedy special ‘Bill Cosby 77′.” The special was scheduled to premiere next week, on Black Friday. No further details are currently known when/if the special will premiere at a later date, or if it will be shelved completely.

    This announcement comes on the same day as two more women have broken their silence – including former model Janice Dickinson – and publicly told their stories about the comedian allegedly sexually assaulting them. This undoubtedly puts pressure on companies currently associated with Cosby. Netflix making this decision places added pressure on NBC in particular, who the comedian is working on a new family sitcom that’s set to launch summer/fall of 2015.

    Update: NBC has scraped the pilot development with Cosby.

    Bill Cosby’s lawyer issues statement about sexual assault allegations, “the fact that they are being repeated, does not make them true.”

    Bill Cosby hasn’t had the best few weeks. He’s been smack dab in the middle of resurfaced allegations of sexual assault stemming from (literally) a Hannibal Buress joke made about a decade-old case. He’s had a social media disaster, former accusers resurfacing, an NPR interview where he declined to comment, which most recently lead to canceled TV appearances. Read More

    Bill Cosby’s social media team asks the internet to play a meme game, it does not go well

    An internet meme stunt backfired on Bill Cosby yesterday. What started as an innocent meme game turned ugly for the legendary comedian when the internet capitalized on a hashtag and exploited it for other purposes. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened for a star or brand and probably will not be the last we see something like this happening. Somewhere, a social media manager is not having a fun day. Read More

    Hannibal Buress calls out Bill Cosby on stage, bringing up past accusations declaring, “You’re A Rapist”

    Buress CosbyHannibal Buress had a few choice words for legendary comedian Bill Cosby from the stage during a stop in Philadelphia at the Trocadero. Cosby is a well known native to Philadelphia and Buress went on an comedic rant about the city’s native son, pointing out the hypocrisy and righteous stance Cosby often takes when it comes to social issues yet he himself isn’t as squeaky clean as some think.

    For those unfamiliar with the story, Cosby came under fire in the mid 2000s with lawsuits from a over a dozen women who claimed to be drugged and sexually assaulted by the comedian. The accusations dated back decades. The statute of limitations ran out on some and others were settled out of court. However, Cosby was never publicly accused of rape. Read More

    All Jane No Dick comedy festival being protested by men’s right activist

    The universe has been handing us some real doozies recently, making it hard to figure out which stories in our newsfeed are real and which are satire. Take for instance the recent partnership between the Susan G. Koman foundation and Baker Hughes, one of the world’s largest oil and fracking companies, to create pink drill bits. Or when a University in Norwich, England announced this week their campaign called “Go with the Flow,” which encourages students to pee in the shower in order to save water. Seems real life is giving funny a run for it’s money as even The Onion couldn’t make this stuff up. In further news of the “WHAT THE,” for the first time in it’s three years, Portland, Oregon’s all-women comedy fest, All Jane No Dick, found out their promotional materials were being destroyed by a men’s rights activist group. Read More

    Writer John Freiler accuses Geico campaign of ripping off his short film

    It is not terribly uncommon for people to steal and use ideas that are not their own. In high school and college they lectured us over and over about plagiarism, and threatened us with a strict zero-tolerance policy. Clear-cut: you get caught stealing, you’re gone. In the real world, plagiarism is much easier to get away with it seems. Even with a mountain of evidence, there rarely seems to be a just end (we saw E!News get away with it just earlier this year).

    Today, writer John Freiler took to Twitter to call out a large company, Geico Insurance, for ripping off a short film he made with Joe Nicolosi. The brilliantly done horror film parody trailer done by Freiler and Nicolosi isn’t some hidden web gem seen only by comedy and film nerds. The film was screened at SXSW 2013 and then later was posted on Youtube where it garnered a mighty 6.4 million views. Read More

    Tracy Morgan, “I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident they caused,” doctors unsure if he will perform again

    Tracy MorganSince the multi-car accident in June that left Tracy Morgan and his entourage in the ICU and killed comedian Jimmy Mack, it’s been a rough go for all parties involved, long hospital stays, rehab, pain and suffering. Morgan filed suit against Walmart and its tractor trailer driver who caused the pileup on the New Jersey Turnpike.

    Earlier this week Walmart responded to the lawsuit in the classiest way possible by attempting to shift the blame on their own driver to Morgan and co. saying that they would’ve been alright if they just simply wore their seatbelts. Read More