Lately, it seems like everybody and their grandfather is being accused of sexual misconduct (not you too, Gérard Depardieu). Aside from Hollywood actors and producers, comedians seem to be leading the pack by a surprisingly wide margin. The latest in a long line of funnymen coming under fire is wiseguy Chris D’Elia after allegations surfaced on Twitter showing an inappropriate exchange he had back in 2011 with a girl who was just 17 years old.
If you don’t know D’Elia, he was once a regular fixture at The Comedy Store in Hollywood before achieving podcast fame with his Congratulations Podcast and high-profile acting roles, including on Netflix’s, You, (playing a comedian child predator, of all things). After eight months under the muzzle, in which the Ted Bundy lookalike paused his social media, D’Elia finally broke his silence in a somber video posted to YouTube last week.
Entitled, “It’s Been a While,” D’Elia’s strikingly unfunny video addresses the situation head-on:
“I know it looks bad – it doesn’t show the full scope of what happened. I stand by the fact that all my relationships have been consensual and legal, and that’s just it. That’s the truth.” He then went on to say that, “Sex controlled my life… And that’s not the guy I want to be,” before apologizing to anyone he may have offended.
So according to D’Elia, what happened here was not the sexual misconduct of say, a Bill Cosby, but rather the gross misdeeds of an oversexed pre-pubescent horned toad trapped in a comedian’s body. If nothing else, we appreciate D’Elia mansplaining the nuanced gradations of male creepiness. After all, some global pandemics are definitely worse than others.
But regardless of the level of offense, these repeat stories of predatory men using their power and influence to take advantage of younger women leave us hanging our heads in disappointment. As more and more male celebrities are being accused of sexual misconduct, it feels as though a whole generation of famous dudes got it wrong. Yet as is often the case in the realm of internet justice, Twitter seems conflicted:
I don't even know who this dude is but all I gotta say is yikes pic.twitter.com/ixwiCM5RIb
— village.green ??? (@beatlekin) June 17, 2020
“That’s creepy and predatory”
“BUT NOT TECHNICALLY ILLEGAL”
—Every comment in here
— Tom Faiella (@ThomasFaiella) June 17, 2020
People in this thread defending him… like bro if you’re 30 don’t go after someone who can’t go to a bar lmao it’s common sense. weirdos
— cole (@NelcoRuben) June 17, 2020
For now, the jury of public opinion appears to be completely split. Truth be told, even if D’Elia were to get “canceled” we all know he’ll be back with an hour-long comedy special by 2023. But by that time, will anyone be laughing?
Cover Photo: Michael S. Schwartz (Getty Images)
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