One-Armed Comedian Records Inspiring Video After Being Bullied and Fat-Shamed by Fellow Comedian
By John Boone
We’re on the precipice of a new social movement: #NubsRiding
Comedian Damienne Merlina recorded this thoughtful response after learning she'd been called out -- by first and last name -- on national television in fellow comedian Ari Shaffir's Comedy Central special, Passive Aggressive.
Shaffir calls Damienne, whose arm was ripped off in a car accident, “annoying” and “the worst," jokes about her missing arm (“It’s not why she’s annoying. I knew her when she had two arms. She was just as annoying then.”), and then concludes, “She smelled. She stunk. She had that fat smell.”
“There’s no punchline to his joke,” Damienne, who claims she’s only ever had “two paragraphs of conversation” with Shaffir, says. “This isn’t funny. It’s not comedy. It’s bullying.”
“As tempting as it to make a list of all the horrible things about Ari, that’s not how I want to spend my time as a human being,” she continues. “It’s not OK to attack people based on their size or their physicality in any way...You can still be a funny person without being super, super duper crappy to other people.”
Shaffir responded to the controversy by tweeting a link to that specific clip in his special. Watch below and decide for yourself how funny you think it is (the part about Damienne is from 3:15 to 5:15):
If you actually watch the segment, it is so odd, because they really aren’t jokes (at least in our opinion). They are just mean “observations” about Damienne, someone we assume Shaffir thinks is an easy target. But more so than being a "bully," it seems like bad stand-up to us, that a comedian’s routine is based on ripping another comedian down. Who does that?
“I am not pandering for public empathy,” Damienne explains. “I wanted to liberate as many different people as possible with my opportunity to address those who are unkind in the world. We live in a society that over and over puts onus and responsibility on the victims and I'd like to help that to change.”
ETonline reached out to Comedy Central for comment but has yet to hear back.
Now, find out which controversial scenes Comedy Central stars told ET they're still surprised they got away with on TV: