Following the cancellation of the second series of his ITV show, the online Vine personality ‘Dapper Laughs’ has had his tour cancelled as well. The tour was set to take place from February 2015 in venues across the UK, including the O2 Academy in Oxford.
This comes after a great deal of controversy surrounding his show, “Dapper Laughs: On the Pull”, and Vines, in which he has been accused of condoning sexual violence. His videos contain quotes like “If she cries, she’s just playing hard to get”.
An online petition appeared on Change.org to get Dapper Laughs off the air claiming that due to the show “everyday sexism is being normalised for both young men and women”. The petition reached 68,209 signatures and ITV publically released a statement that it will not be considering the show for a second season.
Academy Music Group, who owns O2 venues around the country, then released the statement stating, “Please be advised Dapper Laughs ‘Full Length Tour’ has been cancelled. Return to point of purchase for a refund.” Since the release of this statement, all the other venues, including The Ritz in Manchester and Cardiff University Students Union have also cancelled their dates.
Furthermore, in a statement to Buzzfeed, AMG said, “In light of the cancellation of the second series of the Dapper Laughs ITV2 show and significant criticism, Dapper Laughs (Daniel O’Reilly) has himself apologised for any offence caused by his material, and we are aware that Dapper Laughs’ brand of comedy may not be to everyone’s taste.”
The Oxford University forum Cuntry Living has been a hub for debate and condemnation of the show and tour. One of the admins, Exeter student Alice Nutting, told Cherwell, “I’m really pleased that Dapper Laughs no longer exists and won’t be coming to Oxford. It’s a fantastic example of how discussion and activism can lead to meaningful change. His entire act was based around the worst kind of sexist ‘banter’ which repeatedly made light of predatory behaviour towards women.”
The triumph of activism has also been noted by the founder of the Mansfield Gender Justice Society, Lauren O’Neill, who argued, “Though Dapper Laughs’ misogyny is completely heinous (I’ve literally seen a video in which he tells a woman that she’s “gagging for rape”) I think on the whole this situation has had something of a useful outcome, in that it really got people thinking about and sharing explicitly feminist ideas, which is hugely positive and progressive.
“I hope that people who had their eyes opened to the sexism which is rife in our society by Dapper Laughs continue to think about and raise awareness on issues concerning not only gendered justice, but also social justice on a broader and more intersectional level, in their everyday lives.”
Dapper Laughs also recently appeared on Newsnight claiming that he was only attempting to “push the boundaries” with his character and that he got “carried away”. He claimed that the persona is now dead. However, many people have responded to this appearance negatively claiming it wasn’t an apology.
One such person, is the writer of the article “Dapper Laughs and his Turtleneck of Shame” on the website Bad Housekeeping, Izzy Kirk, who told Cherwell, “The downfall of Dapper Laughs has been chalked up as another victory for the public voice of feminism, but it is not without opposition, usually fighting under the banner of ‘freedom of speech’. Freedom of speech may protect your right to not be indicted for your opinions, but it doesn’t give you an unassailable right to a platform for those opinions.
She continues, “We didn’t campaign against you because we don’t like you, we campaigned against you because your material encourages hatred of women and that’s not an attitude we should ever tolerate. Cancelling the tour isn’t censorship, it’s a huge step for women’s rights in the UK – it sends out a clear message that nobody’s going to stand for bigoted, offensive, tasteless shit (or terrible, terrible comedy?) and if it means that fewer impressionable people are going to be exposed to Dapper Laughs telling them that misogyny is ok, then I fully support it.”