The Saturday Night Live performer has made several headlines for his new comedy special Alive From New York where he discusses topics including his relationship with ex-fiancee, Ariana Grande. However, it’s a joke he made about gay men that caused the most controversy.
Netflix released a clip on YouTube that also served as a trailer for his comedy hour. In it, Davidson talks about gay men in his life who will randomly grope women they know.
“It’s that gay dude that’ll run up on your girlfriend and squeeze her boobs and slap her a** and be like, ‘Damn, girl, you look great!'”
The Staten Island, New York native continues that he is not “against gayness” but is bothered that gay men get to grab a woman whenever they want. Adding that he would never approach a gay man’s boyfriend and fondle his genitals.
Writer and LGBTQ+ activist Jill Gutowitz wrote a Twitter thread about Davidson’s joke and said it was “extremely damaging” to depict gay men like this. She starts her thread by saying she does not know any men who behave similarly to the ones mentioned in the joke.
“I’m trying to remember literally 1 time that a gay man has groped me or slapped my a**. Gay [people] are so f*cking repressed & terrified of expressing any form of sexuality,” she wrote.
Gutowitz wondered if “straight men” created the stereotype of gay men groping women without consent. She mentioned making jokes about gay people herself but managing to do so without being “openly hostile & homophobic” and implied Davidson was not a good comedian if he couldn’t make these jokes without offending.
In her tweets, the writer said she has never experienced anything similar to what the SNL cast member joked about, and says that even if others have it is still irresponsible to make jokes about it.
Her original tweet received hundreds of replies, and many of them were women with different sexual orientations. Some came to Davidson’s defense saying that the premise in the joke had happened to them.
“I have absolutely been groped by gay men but I can’t say I would be interested in hearing jokes about that from straight men,” one woman replied.
Another wrote that she and her female friends have been “assaulted at various gay bars” by men who grope them and think it’s funny.