Comedian Sarah Silverman came under fire on Twitter Wednesday after posting a joke about the Bill Cosby rape allegations that some felt crossed a line -- even for the outspoken comic who rarely shies away from vulgarity in her humor.
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Silverman's original tweet read, "Bill Cosby gave me one of those 'don't be dirty' lectures but I was unconscious & he was talking about my a-hole."
However, at least several of her more than 5.7 million followers on Twitter found the joke offensive and replied to her with such comments as, "Your joke makes light of women's actual pain. Not OK" and "Maybe I'm just a downer, but decent ppl don't take the horrendous crimes committed against others as joke opportunities."
About an hour after posting the original tweet – which has not been deleted from her account – Silverman wrote that if she could rewrite the original joke, it would say, "Bill Cosby gave me one of those 'don't be dirty' lectures but I was rendered unconscious."
Seven women have come forward to claim that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them in the past; he has not been charged in connection with any of the accusations and refuses to discuss them.
However, the allegations have taken a toll on his efforts to revive his career. NBC scrapped a comedy that was under development with him and TV Land will stop airing reruns of "The Cosby Show."
When the Associated Press interviewed Cosby on Nov. 6, the story involved long-circulated accusations from several women. Cosby declined to comment, saying, "We don't answer that."
The AP mentioned the allegations and Cosby's decision not to comment at the end of its story, which, like the interview, was primarily about his loan of more than 50 artworks to the Washington museum.
The AP was among a handful of news organizations granted interviews with Cosby in connection with the art exhibition. After his initial refusal to comment — as the interview was winding down but with the camera still running and Cosby wearing a lapel microphone — the comedian asked the AP to not use the brief on-camera refusal to comment he had just made about the allegations. "And I would appreciate it if it was scuttled," he said.
The original tweet:
Bill Cosby gave me one of those "don't be dirty" lectures but I was unconscious & he was talking about my a-hole
The tamer version:
Bill Cosby gave me one of those "don't be dirty" lectures but I was rendered unconscious.