Manuel Oliver want people to know this son’s murder is not a joke, the Washington Post is reporting. Oliver — who lost his son Joaquin on February 14, 2018 after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — is using an organization he and his wife created, Change the Ref, to promote gun safety and legislation. Oliver and Change the Ref are also starting a new hashtag: #NotaJoke.
In December, Louis C.K. mocked victims of the Parkland shooting during a stand-up routine. C.K. had already been receiving backlash after multiple women accused him of masturbating in front of them without their consent. He’s been attempting a career comeback, and admitted to hoping a controversial joke about school shootings would change the conversation.
“If you ever need people to forget that you jerked off, what you do is you make a joke about kids that got shot,” C.K. said in a later routine.
Many people who were affected by the shooting took offense to his comments and responded by blasting the comedian on social media.
“My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. . . Why don’t you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes?” one father tweeted.
Disgraced comedian Louis C.K. made fun of Parkland victims during one of his sets. The father of one of the victims responded with a “stand-up” set of his own. “You guys ever heard dead baby jokes? I got a dead baby. His name was Joaquin Oliver,” he said. https://t.co/6rY62hiA4h— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) February 3, 2019
Oliver, however, decided to send a message through a video project. The video shows Oliver putting up flyers for a “Murdering Innocent Children” comedy show. We then cut to Oliver giving his own stand-up performance.
“Recently, I heard this great line from a comedian,” Oliver says into the microphone in front of him. “He said, ‘If you want people to forget that you were jerking off, just make a joke about kids getting shot.'”
Oliver then proceeds to make a “joke” about kids getting shot. He tells the story of a father dropping off his son at school on Valentine’s Day. The father tells the son he loves him. The son is then killed. The audience is completely silent following the story, and only a rim-shot can be heard.
“You guys ever heard dead baby jokes?” he continues after a pause. “I got a dead baby. His name was Joaquin Oliver. He’s going to be 18, but now he’s dead.” Oliver then looks straight at the camera for the big finish. “And that’s not a joke.” The video finishes with a home video of a younger Joaquin telling a silly children’s joke and doing his own rim-shot on a set of drums.
Joaquin, sometimes referred to as “Guac,” was one of the 17 students and staff killed almost a year ago. Many affected by the tragedy have since become activists for gun control legislation. C.K. has yet to comment on Change the Ref’s video.