According to comedian Adam Carolla, the often malicious put-downs aimed at conservative pundit Ann Coulter during a recent Comedy Central roast would have received far more backlash had the subject been a liberal woman.
“If you put Lena Dunham up there,” he said of the actress and feminist activist, “and you start talking about her being a fat ass, there would be a serious situation.”
He went on to add that if a prominent conservative like Tucker Carlson were the one delivering the jokes, the repercussions would likely be even more severe.
“How much trouble would he be in?” Carolla asked. “Why does this only go one way? You would want him fired from any job he had the next day.”
Coulter, a member of the panel assembled to roast actor Rob Lowe in the special that aired earlier this month, was on the receiving end of personal, often profane jokes. While insults are a requisite part of roasts, many critics felt the right-wing columnist was unfairly targeted by the left-leaning comics and B-list celebrities who joined her on the panel.
In addition to being encouraged to kill herself, Coulter was attacked for her appearance, politics and anything else the roast’s participants could throw at her.
“If you swapped the aisles on this,” Carolla posited, “if this was [leftist actress] Janeane Garofalo and everyone did this to her, you would be run out of this town.”
He clarified that some jokes would still be permitted within the confines of a roast, but not many of those employed against Coulter.
“You could make fun of the person,” Carolla added. “You could make fun of their politics. You could make fun of whatever you wanted. But you couldn’t talk about Janeane Garofalo being ugly.”