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How Mr.Kenneth Sebastian got sexist, got offended, blocks me and then seeks some cheap fame

I watched a comedy show last night. I got offended. Before I tell you why, let me set the context.

I had wanted to spend a good night with my friends. I’d heard of how hilarious ‘The Improvisers’ were and decided to see for myself. I was sure in for an eventful night. The first 45mins they kept me laughing and after that I just ended up exchanging glances with my friend wondering if we were the only ones in the room feeling awkward. It started with Mr.Kannan Gill, on a more serious note (Thank god for that) revealing the fact that anyone could buy a prostitute in Kolkata with just Rs.7. But then things got ugly, at least for me and my friends. They took turns, Abish Mathew, Kaneez Surka, Kannan Gill and, the man of the hour, Mr.Kenneth Sebastian, to make an attempt to tickle the crowd by dragging it to a whole new level. They wondered out loud, what a prostitute could serve a man for Rs.7. This made one of them answer that she gives him one ‘shot’ which if I rightly understood means, one ejaculation. So they went on to wonder what Rs.49 would give them! Not yet offended? Wait, there’s more. In their act, the boyfriend and girlfriend walk into the prostitutes area only to encounter the mother of the girlfriend, who apparently has been working there as a prostitute. This encourages them to pursue an improvised dialog session where one of them asks the mum “How was your day?” and the other person (that is, the mum) responds, “Oh I’m so fucked.”

Personally, I cannot stand and watch people talk about women that way. So I messaged Mr.Kenneth Sebastian, on Facebook, saying I enjoyed the first half but felt that the second half got a bit sexist. He replied instantly and this led to us having a heated conversation where he kept assuring me that he is NOT offended but had to go on explaining what he thought of ‘people like me’. Not to mention, he ends the conversation by telling me how busy he is and how his time is extremely precious and that I shouldn’t go watch the show if I get so easily offended. Basically, he brushed me off by saying ‘Take a joke woman!’. He blocked me after this. In a minute my friend told me he’d posted a screenshot of our conversation with a caption that read:

You are not a real comedian till someone accuses you of being a sexist

#MyMomIsProud

#ConversationNeverEnded

He posted this on twitter and on his Facebook page and profile. There are a couple of things that are disturbing here.

Firstly, he is proud of being a sexist? And this, readers, is our ‘broad minded, liberal thinking, slightly famous’ Indian. Secondly, it’s cheap beyond belief how he posted a very convenient part of our conversation, the part that would boost his ego. Thirdly, this is a huge breach of privacy. There is a reason why there’s an option to post on the wall and send a message Mr.Kenneth Sebastian! You should have at least had the basic decency to crop out my name if you were so desperate to soak in the glory of being called a sexist. Fourthly, He blocks me. Ha! If you really had the courage Mr.Kenneth Sebastian you shouldn’t have blocked me, you should have been brave enough to face my backlash at you. And let me remind you readers, this was from the man who claimed not to be so easily offended by some ‘random stranger’ on Facebook. I mean, clearly this man can’t handle criticism of any sort. Keeping quiet and not responding to me at all would have earned him more respect than portraying himself as an immature attention seeking person.

I’m also shocked by the audience! They were all, I’m sure, coming from a decently educated background and I looked around and these men and women are laughing their heads off at such a derogatory joke. Yes, I know some of you out there believe that one must leave their brains home while going to watch comedy. I’m sorry, but I won’t leave my self-respect or morals back home even if it is to watch comedy. Some say, I’m being a spoil sport or over analysing. Let me clarify to you here, that I love comedy. But do it with some class. And putting a price on a woman is NOT classy! I enjoy witty jokes. And making derogatory perverted jokes does not make you witty!

Anything that involves addressing a mass audience has been proved to have the power of mobilisation. Be it a political speech or even mere comedy. And people who do address the audiences in any which way must have some sense of moral responsibility. I emphasize again, there’s nothing wrong with pulling someone’s leg and enjoying a joke. But there is a line you draw. We are all at a point where we are witnessing and being part of this revolutionary movement of attaining a just and equal society. How easily we blame the judicial system or the government of this country but we fail to remember that to attain a society like that it is most important for us to have an attitudinal shift not a mere altering of some laws. And, attitude comes from what you see, what you experience, your culture, the kind of people you spend your time with and even from something as small as what kind of jokes you laugh at. There is a deep rooted conditioning that gets drawn from these attitude forming patterns.

After reading the comments a man (whom I hold respect for, because he was the only one who chose to listen to my side of the story) messaged me and expressed that it’s difficult now because he really has to filter his thoughts before talking. I’m saying, if you are a non- sexist you won’t have to filter. You will just be a non-sexist.

Mr.Kenneth Sebastian, I know new found fame does give you a high. It probably makes you feel more powerful as compared to ‘some random stranger’ on Facebook. You have no basic decency, can’t handle criticism and seems like you’d stoop down to any level for some more of that tasty fame.

And let me get this straight. I am NOT a feminist who has misunderstood the word ‘feminism’. I AM NOT a feminist asking for superiority of women but a feminist seeking for equality for women.

Readers, I recommend you go read the comments below Mr.Kenneth Sebastian’s post on his profile (not his page) which is even more disappointing. The kind of response people have been giving is unbelievable. Some of us just got attacked by the male chauvinists of this nation (and that too, just a handful of them).

Since you(Kenneth Sebastian) anyway don’t believe in privacy, I’m sure you’re okay with me posting our entire conversation.

Since you(Kenneth Sebastian) anyway don't believe in privacy, I'm sure you're okay with this.

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39 thoughts on “How Mr.Kenneth Sebastian got sexist, got offended, blocks me and then seeks some cheap fame

  1. Nidhi: I am a big fan of stand up comedy and grew up watching Carlin, Seinfeld and a lot Andy Kaufman. I totally second you. This is a ridiculously sexist and, may i say, perverted direction that the Indian stand up scene is moving towards. Hope this article gets read in the right circles and some common sense prevails.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you really watched Carlin and Kaufman, you’d realise that they pretty much approach sensitive issues the same way. By making extremely clever, yet insensitive, jokes on the respective sensitive issue. But this is all done to enforce a sense of SATIRE. If a comedian makes a sexist joke, doesn’t mean he is sexist. He could be shedding light on the issue. That being said, it requires great talent to successfully put it across as a funny joke. This is something Kenneth Sebastian and most Indian comics are terrible at doing. But, Indian audiences should also open a fucking dictionary and look up the word “satire”.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. If the conversation was just this much, why is he offended? I understand Nidhi’s point. I myself don’t follow comedy, because I can’t stand toilet humour and sexist jokes. That said, I understand Kenneth’s argument as well, that don’t watch if you don’t like. That said, he shouldn’t have posted the conversation on his timeline without blocking the girl’s name. Why should he lash out at her? The chat shows she’s disagreeing in an agreeable manner and is being polite. He became Jaikant Shikre (Singham dekhi hai na?) “Kuch bhi karne ka, par Jaikant Shikre ka ego hurt nahi karne ka.” 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If spoken in such light, then yes of course it is sexist. Like I said I’m not fighting for superiority of women, it’s for their equality I stand for. And if men were in the position of women then of course I would be standing up for them. The gender is not the point here. It is about equality.

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  3. Your outrage at the screenshots being posted are completely justified. It is NOT acceptable to out a private conversation (with or without hiding the other party’s name) without the other person’s consent. That was ridiculous. (You’ve gone and done the same, though only after he did it, it doesn’t make it any better)
    Also, him blocking you later was probably cowardly.
    I disagree however, with your analysis of the whole piece being sexist and misogynistic (before you jump on me: personal opinion, you may have a different one). Comedians should be able to joke about what they want to. Of course, you are welcome to not go to their shows again and tell people about what you think of them, like you’ve done here. There are some people who enjoy dirty or ‘perverted’ jokes as you call them. You have no right to take that away from them.

    You’ve defended the dignity of the profession of adult acting in your last entry. Does a lot of porn (and ‘item’ numbers in Bollywood, literally ‘item’!) not objectify women in very very misogynistic ways (actually does it as opposed to joking about it)? What, then, is your set of beliefs that you’re putting forward?

    PS: General observations, here. I might have some stupid opinions. Help me correct them by telling why they’re stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, let’s put it this way, sexual jokes are funny. We all indulge in them. We make sexual jokes on men and women. But I’ve said it before and now I say it again there’s a big difference between being sexual and being sexist. Putting a price on a woman and mocking her character for the profession, especially in this case where most girls are trafficked into is just NOT funny. Comedy is subjective, yes. But there just few things that we as a society must refrain from mocking at. Like, skin color or weight or something like this. You can’t excuse it even for comedy. This is where moral responsibility comes in.

      As for item songs and porn well I certainly don’t like the effect it has on young girls but all the women engaged in item songs or even porn are adults who choose to do it and so I respect that. I give them the dignity of labour they deserve. But on the other hand on a larger context the attitude of objectification must change. You can celebrate a woman’s body not objectify it. Appreciate it, adore it don’t look at it as a toy to fiddle with.

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  4. Yea I understand how people can make sexist jokes but man this guy is actually proud of being a sexist pig!!!!! Rustle peters makes a whole bunch of racist jokes but I don’t see anyone getting offended by them, he puts them in a really nice way. I think this guy doesn’t either know how to frame jokes or he’s just using this opportunity to freely be sexist and have an excuse saying it’s a joke. And to make things worst he has to post the conversation on social media. Guys got no balls!

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  5. I agree with Kenny.
    don’t watch it if u don’t like it man. Otherwise one can pinpoint anything in a joke and make it into an issue. What will be difference between you and those politicians and censor boards who are curtailing our freedom of expression everyday. If he’s sexist and that hurts u so much, go watch a woman stand up and fight for the rights of men when she’s making fun of them. Vulgarity is endless. It’s only your choice to receive that medium Of communication. porn for eg. Is offensive to most but not to soMe. So let the some enjoy as long as it’s not creeping up on anyone’s personal private space and physically harming any party to it. Let there be Peace. I don’t think letting Kenny know what u thought of the show was wrong. I don’t think Kenny was wrong in his response For it was quite matter of fact stated clean. But yes him putting it up with your name without your consent was terrible.

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    1. When a performer performs he is bound to receive feedback. He cannot shun it away with arrogance. He ought to have more class than that. I would have let all this go if he’d not responded they way he did. I can agree to disagree. But I choose not to put his attitude.
      Freedom of speech does not mean one has the freedom to oppress or the freedom to belittle, no matter what the circumstance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, I have just discovered him, and I like most of the stuff I’ve seen, but you are right, he was not even defensive, but down right arrogant.

        You were very polite and tried to just really talk to him, have an honest chat about his set.
        I haven’t seen that set, and I don’t know if the prostitute joke was done tastelessly, but he should not be a performer, if he can’t take any criticisms.

        Stand up comics often can dish it out but not take it, that’s why you never hackle one.
        Well that and, also, ‘coz they don’t come to your place of work and try to prevent you from doing your job, either, which you also didn’t, (hackle him), so good on you.
        You chose a mature route of communication and he was really rude, stuck up and dismissive…

        The guy should grow up a little, and if he really wants to be a brilliant comedian, so much so that his comedy will be an art form, not just funny man antics, he needs to be mature enough to consider every bit of constructive criticism.

        I’m with you, on this one. I love stand up, as well as some “offensive” outrageous stand up acts, but you got to have a measure, otherwise you’re just another wanker on stage, trying to earn a living on cheap laughs.

        Again, I’m not making any comment on the joke, haven’t seen it, but how he handles your feedback was arrogant, and uncalled for.

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  6. Hi Nidhi,

    I’m glad you reached out to him with your opinion – there needs to be an interface between performers and spectators. I wish he had responded with more openness, but I also wish you had approached him with more patience. Nobody wants to be told off for something they pride themselves on. Not cool of him to post the conversation online, though. However, I agree that the Indian standup scene today grossly misunderstands the power of humour. Humour has to be offensive, but needs to offend the oppressors, not the oppressed.

    As for the content that offended you, merely making jokes about prostitutes doesn’t have to be sexist. Finding humour in a woman’s sexual behaviour doesn’t have to be sexist. Unfortunately, we are steeped in an excess of jokes, images and ideas OF women made BY men and women whose perceptions are also sexist. We need more politically subversive standup, just like we need more subversive cinema and music videos. Reaching out to existing performers is important, too, but perhaps the way you went about it caused more hurt to his ego than challenge to his attitude.

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    1. Sexual jokes are fine by me. But there’s a fine line between sexual jokes and sexist jokes. And a sexual joke becomes sexist when you put a price on a woman and objectify her. And people fail to realise that these women they’re joking and poking at are mostly young innocent girls who are trafficked into the profession. But, suppose even if a woman chose that job out of her own will because she enjoys it (just like we all have our own passions), in that case who the hell is anyone to completely misinterpret the profession and judge the character of the person. It’s the way they objectified the prostitutes that I had a problem with. OK even if they did that ad then in our conversation he spoke more decently I could have let it go. But the way he spoke made it clear that he really believes what he jokes about and that is very scary!

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  7. Take a bow for this article. If only this guy did as much research as you did, he’d probably have a good joke. I’ve watched his Apple videos. Friends of him, please ask him to find another profession.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Nidhi, I totally sympathise with you for the whole episode (posting the personal chat on public forums). It was truly an offensive thing to do. And I personally feel that is the only offensive thing to have happened in this unfortunate event, oh ya, and also this post, which is again posting the personal chat on public forums, which you seem to have tried to justify.
    We live in the age of internet and anyone can say anything about everyone and everything. It has given us the power to relay information that is available for millions to read. Being educated, sensitive, informed and responsible adults, we have to know this part and act accordingly. Remember that there is no difference in what you and Mr Kenneth have done, though he may have jumped into the mud first. Your anger is justified, but the path you took was not at all right Nidhi. You could have done better. I’m sure you know by now. I hope Mr Kenneth will also realise this sooner or later.
    And about what he seems to have said in his comedy show, well it is his show and he has the right to joke about anything. If you feel it is not your cup of tea then avoiding his shows is the best response. If his jokes are crass and are really offensive then the people will let him know by bunking his shows. That is how it works. Everyone has a right to opinions. You do too. Use it in a way that makes you the better person. Cheers!

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    1. I understand what you’re saying. Usually I keep my opinion to myself in such situation because opinions to such situations can be very relative. Silence can most often be more dignified. I also agree to disagree. But I was not okay with the way he reacted. I feel like letting someone get away with an attitude like that means you’re letting him get away with his arrogance. There’s two sides to silence too, and in this case my silence would have meant that I’m okay or too scared to say something about what he did. Which I’m not. It isn’t about me though. Sometimes people need to be put back into their place. If I didn’t do it I’m sure with the way he went around someone else would have.

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  9. Kenneth Sebastian handled criticism really well, given that his message didn’t start and end with the letter “F”, before blocking the author. It’s courtesy not to make the chat public. He took time in replying and didn’t sound offended. The author seems pissed off for making that conversation public, which I couldn’t find anywhere else. So, actually speaking, this is the only page I see that conversation (poor Googling skills perhaps).

    Also, because of this blogpost, we get to know why the show is sold out.

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    1. have we really come to a point where we congratulate people for just not saying the ‘F’ word? Handling criticism involves a lot more than just not saying the ‘F’ word. He took time in replying? His replies were pretty instant and a person who isn’t offended wouldn’t go on to justify his stance, which he was clearly doing. And as for you not being able to see the conversation anywhere else is because after putting it up he blocks me, and then a whole discussion starts on how proud he is on being called a sexist. But within two hours of me publishing this article he suddenly deletes all evidence and all his posts.By evening he put up another status on his page about how some people cant handle comedy to which people responded against him and again within an hour he deleted that too. Now, if he was not guilty of what he did and stood by what he said why didn’t he have the courage to keep the post up? And why did he have to block me? He clearly only wanted people who like and support him to comment.

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      1. I personally feel Kenneth Sebastian did a better job by deleting that post (which you claim he had put up on his page/profile). Maybe he felt guilty. Maybe he did realise his mistake of posting that conversation in a public forum without the author’s consent. Maybe he wanted to troll the author of this blog. But he would be arrogant, if he had kept that post after learning about this blog and the author’s sentiments. In the screenshots, he seemed calm, responded back with his views and justified his stand and beliefs, which everyone is entitled to do. The author provided her feedback and tried to analyse a few aspects on his performance, which is not wrong either.

        Kenneth did mention about his busy schedule, ended the chat with a note of appreciation for the attendance and a tip about attending his shows in future, which also acts as a disclaimer. He supposedly used “#ConversationNeverEnded” for that chat, which could mean that he wanted to be isolated from further chatting, which is a normal tendency. From the best statesmen to greatest performers, feedback is a part of their efforts and learning, but to an extent. Since Kenneth ended on a high note with last say, the author may not have had closure on the conversation and may have wanted to keep the conversation going (Kenneth might have perceived it that way). At this point, it’s a personal battle between the author and Kenneth, than Kenneth’s (allegedly) sexist views.

        Neither I am Kenneth’s acquaintance nor a fan of his work. I am not a fan of the author’s work either. Just here to give my 2cents on a Friday night.

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  10. Kenny is a good friend. He is anything but sexist!
    Also, what is the point of going to a stand up comedy show and analysing it for its every word. Have you seen Bill Burr, He does a whole set about how half the human race needs to be killed to make space. That is wrong on so many levels – But it is all said in good humor. Learn to laugh it out and dont be butt-hurt and make the job of a comedian harder than it already is.

    PS: If they has made a joke about male prostitution you would not have written this long ass post. SO calm your self down!

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    1. Well, I’m not comparing nor do I wish to compare Kenneth Sebastian to any comedian in the world. What was said and done and how he reacted to feedback was plain stupid. Yes if it was just the show I disagreed with I would definitely have simply dismissed it. But something in my conscience made me want to tell one of them that I found it a bit sexist. Hence I did. If you’re a performer, you should know that you are bound to receive feedback. He was free to agree or disagree with me, but in a dignified manner. If he was so clearly not a sexist and ‘not offended’ as he himself put it why did he block me?? Why wasn’t he brave enough to listen to what I have to say too on a public platform? Why post only one part of our conversation? Why didn’t have the basic decency to crop my name out? Since I could handle it, it was okay. But imagine if it was an emotionally weaker person…the backlash from the other fans of Kenny would have broken them. Moreover, it’s an utter indecent breach of privacy. On top of all this now he has deleted the screenshot and the entire post. Why? If he is not guilty why do all of that? Why can’t he stand up for himself and what he believes in? After all of this he posts a status on his page only to delete that also after few hours because people responded negatively to him.
      I’m not going to learn to laugh at such cheap jokes.

      PS: if they had made a joke about a male prostitute in the same light and tone as this, then OF COURSE I would have written this post. It isn’t about women here. It’s about poor character of the comedian and about seeking gender equality. I stress once again, there’s a difference between sexual jokes and sexist jokes.

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    2. Wow! “calm yourself down” You are really digging yourself a huge sexist hole, bro, that sounds ridiculously, very stereo-typically sexist.

      A woman has a problem with how a joke about women is told and phrases like, ‘she is hysterical’, ‘calm yourself down’….All that’s missing is feminazi ‘argument’ and you are in great company of MRAs, and Gamergate apologists.

      Secondly, you are missing the point here.
      Haven’t seen the joke, but the way he handles constructive criticism was immature, arrogant and dismissive.

      She loves Kenny’s work, I love it, that is the whole point of this conversation, we expect more of him that cheap laughs.
      There is a right way to tell a joke, and a lazy way to do it. Lazy way is usually populist and masses love it, the right ways is brilliant and borders on genius.

      Again, I’m making no comment on any of his jokes in particular, I am talking about the way he talked to a fan who found something wrong with ONE of his jokes.

      A grown arse person needs to learn to consider constructive criticism, even if it comes from a woman. See woman do sarcasm as well, we are not really from Venus, we’re from the same planet as you guys.

      Also, Batman, it is not who you are inside, it’s your actions that define you.

      I don’t really care what sort of man is Kenny privately, I am in it for his comedy, and it better not be cheap, sexist laughs, or I will call him out on it.

      Like

  11. Hi Nidhi,

    I completely agree with your comments and am pretty appalled at his response to you. There seems to be a lot of misplaces comedic entitlement in play here “I am a comedian and I can say whatever I please”. Historically, comedy or satire has been used as a tool of expression for mass dissent against unfair structural institutions. However, the form of comedy that the Indian stand-up scene is veering towards is going the opposite direction – that of perpetuating existing social prejudices by making jokes against the weak and disadvantaged.

    These jokes are very low-hanging fruit. Any person on the street can make a ‘funny’ joke about a fat man or a dark girl or a prostitute, but it takes real talent to be a comedian that brings a laugh out of people while simultaneously making a commentary on social ills.

    Kenneth, if you are reading this, (sorry for being a little harsh) I wonder how you can sleep at night knowing that you make a living out of making fun of the socially disadvantaged. Also, it is extremely poor form to speak to a member of the audience in that way. (I assume Nidhi payed good money to watch your show?). I really feel the Indian comedy scene needs a reality check. Look at comedians in our vernacular languages for inspiration or even the comedic giants from the West, but understand their intentions first.

    Like

  12. Hey Nidhi,

    First of all I should let you know that after reading the text msgs, I felt that not only you were being honest but also polite to Kenneth. However, Kenneth’s responses (to me) seemed rude and spiteful. He said that he was not getting offended but I beg to differ. Also, I never found him funny, especially when he does his Improv.

    Now about the joke. As far as the 7rs and 49rs thing goes, I guess its not sexist to make fun of how bad the situation is with the Red Light areas of India or anywhere in the world. Though I failed to see the humour in those jokes (especially the mum prostitute) I dont feel they were sexist. Also I cant form my opinion on it as I have not seen the show. But you must also consider that in Improv the jokes (the whole act) is not rehearsed or scripted. So it is very much possible that the bits that offended you might be spontaneous. But again, Kudos to you for letting them finish their act and displaying your disagreement afterwards (unlike some other people who believe in heckling). Also publicly posting the conversation without blurring or hiding your name though is not illegal but its pretty immoral IMO.

    But again, lets hope Kenneth puts ‘his act together’ and delivers something actually funny.

    Best!

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  13. Wow Nidhi!

    Firstly, its great to see you stand up for your opinion. Read through every comment here and your replies to each one. Impressive, I should say!

    Talking about Kenny, I feel he messed it up big time by the way he handled this entire issue. I agree with the fact that our comedians are young and are still figuring out where to ‘draw the line’ and sometimes really go overboard. I did have a few awkward moment witnessing comedians going beyond ‘satire’ just because of the fact that they are new to the scene and lack the ‘experience’ may be. Just giving them the benefit of doubt here.That doesnt mean their joke on the prostitute was right. Not one bit! What I didn’t like about this entire episode is the attitude at which criticism was handled. If you are a performer, then you need to learn to be humble enough to respect every single feedback you receive. We all agree with the fact that comedy ain’t easy and our guys are doing an awesome job amidst all the politics and censorship and stuff. But in this case, when you crossed the line with a cheap sexist joke and someone found it offensive and had the courtesy to drop you a personal note, I think, all that was needed was a, “I’m sorry that we went overboard and we do respect your sentiments and hopefully we’ll be more responsible here on!” Problem solved. Everybody makes a mistake and we audience totally understand it. And people who only like your work, are watching you perform. Its good to add a ‘disclaimer’, but sometimes, its still better to say sorry if someone wasn’t prepared for the joke that was coming despite the warning! No harm, It’s only going to increase your following! 🙂 I really feel getting carried away with fame, will screw up your very own audience. Kenny, dude..I found you quite good the other day at a stand up night in Bangalore.. Even had a short chat and found you nice and humble. You guys are doing really well and we’ve watched all of you grow. But please remember, with every single day that passes, your viewers expect you guys to be more responsible, matured and sensitive to their sentiments. You guys are no longer being watched by just your classmates or batch mates! Be yourselves, and its fine to joke in your own styles..but remember to stay grounded 🙂 Cheers guys! And, all the best Nidhi.

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  14. Ok seriously man, why the hell is everyone getting offended about everything? Woman makes a joke about men and she’s being “strong”, man makes a joke about women and he is sexist. Nidhi, I am sorry to say but it looks like you are the only one looking for cheap publicity. The guy was pretty sweet to you actually according to the texts.

    This is exactly what is wrong with us. We will laugh at all the jokes as long as it is not on us. (In this case women being offended by any joke on women). Prostitutes exist. They probably do charge 7 bucks. It is funny. Stop being so sensitive.

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  15. Hi Nidhi,

    I understand the stand you put forth. Especially in a society where sexist mindsets are ubiquitous. I have had similar discussions about where the line can be drawn. However, I find the moral argument problematic as it is ambiguous and would differ from person to person. No entertainer is obligated to carry any moral responsibility while performing, their job is merely to entertain. If each one of found something deeply offensive, the list of sacrosanct topics would be quite long.

    He could have done better than posting that screenshot you mentioned but I did not find the joke sexist, although not funny either.

    Cheers,
    Heena

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  16. Nidhi,
    This man is so full of himself that he and others like him never look beyond
    their own selves and in their quest to be cool they forget about being human. They are assholes and the best remedy for them is stripping them of their 15. Minutes of fame.

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    1. Absolutely correct, Amirata.

      This guy makes couple of jokes, people laugh, and they think they are celebrity of some kind. My foot!

      Kenny will always be broke. He is selling his iPad on Facebook for cash, and he is clearly doing everything to make money – and in this case, even offend people.

      Such people have no ethics. No rules. They live life with struggle. Good for him. I am NEVER ever going to this shit guy’s show. Let him die in hell.

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  17. Dear Nidhi,

    I dont generally respond to your blog, though I often read some of the posts ifind interesting. Its always interesting for me to see how you have grown. Congratulations on having the courage to stand up against what you felt wrong, and defend your stand. Its more than what most people are doing in India today, even among the very wee small group who feel uncomfortable. The rest are celebrating a ‘a dawn of the new age’ that they dont even know what is heralding, while sensitivities, nuances, sheer class is thrown out of the window every single day in the alter of this new dawn. We are becoming a crass, impolite and insensitive group of people and this brashness is evident on every street, on every Supermarket line, every lane crossing. Indian middle class today dont have it in their hearts to extend tolerance to anyone outside their juggernaut path, while they will be the first with ‘hurt sentiments’ for no rhyme or reason. The number of bans in our country and the general vandalism everyday against the ‘other’ is symptoms of that.

    You know which side I am on, and being on that side, I am not unbiased and thankfully old enough now not to care about being politically correct. It makes me laugh when people tell you not to be offended at jokes in bad taste, propagating the freedom of expression that Kenneth Sebastian has where he cracks tasteless jokes against a marginalised group of people where no one is there from that community to put him back in his place. Most probably none of that community will watch his program, and I doubt anyone will find him funny. When they compare him with the great comedians and satirists of the world, I find it funny because the one thing Indian comedians have not learnt is the difference between a funny joke and a non funny joke. Which is why me, an addict of international comedy shows, and by no means a prude just dont watch Indian comedy. They have a long way to go. Just a couple of things more:
    – never defend yourself as a feminist. If people dont know what feminism is, ask THEM to see a dictionary. If they understood the meaning, every right thinking person would be a feminist.
    – always use your right to protest. Especially for people who can’t protest themselves. People have tried to portray you as someone who can’t take a joke about a woman as a woman. That in itself portrays them as sexists, because I see you as a person of priviledged class being unable to take a joke on the marginalised – a group you rightly say are minors who have been trafficked against their will.
    – yes, the fact that prostitutes in Kolkata sell their services for Rs. 7 is a fact. It is not a funny fact. It is a VERY SAD fact, showing how low we have stooped in devalueing our women and children, held against their will without rights or dignity. Ask how many of these so called emancipated people screaming for KS’s freedom of speech would give two cents for the rights of these people. They may very often give the Rs. 7 though.

    Let me end by saying I am proud of you.
    Love,
    Monolita.

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  18. Well, we all make mistakes. Kenny did too but so what. Also, i had a chance meeting with a stand up comedian and i asked him why so much toilet humor and sexual/ sexist jokes. He said, that’s where they get the mosts laughs, so it is their bread and butter. Reading the entire conversation – my take – i don’t think Kenny got offended by what you said. I’ve been to couple of shows in Mumbai and i’ve seen them joke about guys as much as girls. Don’t give this more importance than it should. Anyway it’s been months now and m sure you’ve moved onto better things.

    Hopefully, you will find a better comedian who caters to your sense of humor. Don’t let this one event stop you from going to other shows from other comedians.

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  19. I recently binge watched a few of Kenneth Sebastian’s stand up shows on YouTube, and I thought he was quite funny but this post makes me so disappointed. Even if I were to give him the benefit of doubt, seeing as I wasn’t there at the show the callousness of the replies are disturbing. Not to mention how rude he sounds.

    If you are a public performer, more so if you have made it your profession to speak in public, you ought to be able to defend yourself better than to say they were just ‘random words’ when a member of your audience approaches you. That’s shirking responsibility for your very publicly voiced words and it is assumed opinions. Being a comedian does not automatically entitle anyone to speak howsoever they want to about whatsoever they want to.

    Also, it is appalling that a presumably educated, young man thinks that issues related to gender are only for the classroom and that any ideologies that hinder the ‘enjoyment’ of a show ought to be left out of the discussion. And as far as the possibility of satire goes, satire can serve as a powerful tool in making a both personal and political stance but only so when used to make the comfortable uncomfortable and not when you are hoping to evoke a few laughs at the expense of an already marginalised or unfairly represented group of people or playing upon really quite unfunny and unoriginal stereotypes. A joke about a woman does not necessarily have to be sexist, neither does a joke about a prostitute irrespective of their gender, but if a member of your audience felt it was then you better have the decency to listen to their opinion without being a jerk. Even if I were to assume the joke was not offensive, his comments most certainly are.

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  20. Though honestly, a comedy show isn’t really going to change anything. And it is the truth, so I don’t understand how it is sexist. Admittedly it wasn’t a very funny joke, but you don’t have to lash out against him for making this joke. It was right to tell him about it, as everybody is entitled to their opinion and you should csll him out if you feel it is not right.

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  21. It’s not even about gender equality. The mother was a prostitute joke is so cheap and crass. Comedy can be on any topic but it should be classy and not vulgar like this.I support Nidhi n she has been polite too. I’m not even a feminist.

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  22. I totally agree with you. Kenny was just being arrogant. He was acting the same way when I confronted him about the (altered) facts of his show. He claimed that the show got booked within minutes. But when I told him that some seats were empty until the week before the show, he just removed my comment and blocks me. When asked about this on Twitter, he blocks me there too!

    A man who gets offended so easily, shouldn’t tell others to “take a joke (woman)”.
    If he wasn’t offended, then why did he have to block me or you?
    Confidence has its true nature when it’s not accompanied by arrogance. Kenny portrays himself to be confident and smart, but deep inside it’s just him trying to make more pr points.

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