An Edmonton talk show has shut down after a staffer posted a rape joke on its Facebook page.
"To The Point" was a satirical, current affairs show hosted by Edmonton Coun. Mike Nickel.
On Monday, it was announced on the show's now-deleted Facebook page that it would be going off air after controversy over an inappropriate meme that was posted on the show's page over the weekend.
The image depicted convicted rapist Brock Turner and accused rapist Bill Cosby leering over the character Snow White with the caption "We couldn't resist... We're just going to post this here and see what happens..."
The post sparked an uproar on social media, with users asking Coun. Nickel to explain himself.
— Peter Skinner (@PeterRSkinner) June 13, 2016
“It was such a stark image. It was so transparently making a joke about assaulting an unconscious female, which, from the perspective of what’s happening and the larger conversation around rape culture, is really disturbing to come from someone in leadership,” said Brandy Burdeniuk, a resident of Nickel's ward, to Metro News.
Nickel took to his personal Facebook page to post an apology for the incident on Sunday.
"I am truly sorry this posting occurred and in no way endorse it in any shape, form or fashion. Yet as a representative of the show and public figure, I cannot and should not remove myself from the fact it did happen on my watch and in connection to my show," he wrote.
“ ... it did happen on my watch.”
— Edmonton Coun. Mike Nickel
A former panelist says the show's banter often pushed the envelope, but this time it went too far.
“There was a big push and a desire, and I get it, to try and be edgy and really controversial and get people talking about the show, have some buzz," Daniel St. Pierre said in an interview with CTV News.
He added that what that actually translated to were some "clumsy jokes."
"To The Point" had been on hiatus for six months prior to the meme controversy. It has now gone off air for good, CBC News reported.
Also on HuffPost:
Tory big beast Ken Clarke faced calls for his resignation following comments he made about rape sentencing policy. The then Justice Secretary was speaking to BBC 5 Live in 2011 when he appeared to suggest date rape is not always “rape”. Addressing presenter Victoria Derbyshire, he said: “Assuming that you and I are taking about rape in the ordinary conversational sense, some man has forcefully…” In this full transcript provided by the BBC, Derbyshire interjected with: “Rape is rape,” to which Clarke replied: “No it’s not.”
In 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained his opposition to abortion even in cases of rape in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. He said that women who face such circumstances should “make the best of a bad situation”. When asked what he would say if his own daughter approached him, begging for an abortion after being raped, he explained he would counsel her to “accept this horribly created” baby because it was still a gift from God, even if it was given in a “broken” way.
George Galloway ignited fierce debate in 2012 over comments he made relating to the sex crime allegations against WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. On his podcast Good Night with George Galloway, posted on YouTube, he said: “It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.” Swedish prosecutors wish to question Assange on suspicion of offences of unlawful coercion, sexual molestation and rape.
In 2011 UKIP candidate Roger Helmer blogged his opinion that there are distinctions between “date” and “stranger” rape. “Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable,” he wrote. With reference to “stranger” rape, he said: “… the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.”
In 2009 then BBC football pundit Alan Pardew, now coach of Newcastle United, was forced to issue an apology after he compared a tackle by Chelsea’s Michael Essien to a rape on Match of the Day. Essien had collided with City’s striker Ched Evans when Pardew said: “He’s a strong boy. He knocks him off." As Alan Hansen interjected with “he mauls him”, Pardew added: "he absolutely rapes him."
In 2013 England spinner Graeme Swann said sorry after comparing the third Ashes Test loss to Australia as being “arse raped” Swann made the comments on Facebook during an exchange with his brother hours after England’s loss. He took to Twitter to apologise: “Sorry to anyone who was offended by my comments in the papers today. Crass and thoughtless of me in the extreme.”
In May UKIP Donor Demetri Marchessini argued there was no such as thing as marital rape, claiming: “If you make love on Friday and make love on Sunday, you can’t say Saturday is rape.” When asked whether UKIP should be taking cash from a donor with such repellent views, leader Nigel Farage replied: “Possibly not.”
California judge Derek Johnson was publicly admonished in 2012 for suggesting a rape victim “did not put up a fight” and that if someone truly doesn’t want to have sex, their body “will not permit that to happen.” Judge Johnson made his comments during a case where a man threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his former girlfriend with a heated screwdriver. In documents published on the Californian Commisson on Judicial Performance, he is recorded as saying: “I'm not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something - if someone doesn't want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case.”
Failed Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin suggested in 2012 that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t need the option of abortion because they “rarely” become pregnant. He later apologised.