ITV has dropped the controversial comedian Daniel O’Reilly's dating show Dapper Laughs after footage emerged of the youngster making reference to the rape of women during a gig.
In footage uncovered by the The Mirror of his stand-up act at London's Scala last month, O’Reilly told the audience: “I filmed six episodes, half an hour each. If it was a guide to rape, I would have done one five-minute episode, come on and go ‘Oi Oi, I’m Dapper Laughs, go down the shops, get some rope, bit of duct tape, rape the bitch, well done, see you later’.”
He later hones in on a female member of the audience and announced: “She’s gagging for a rape.” He continued, “Do you want to come backstage after? Bring two of your mates, you'll need them”.
In the TV show Dapper Laughs, O'Reilly shares similar advice such as "Just show her your penis; if she cries, she’s just playing hard to get”.
A petition asking ITV's chief executive Adam Crozier to prevent the show from returning for a second season has been signed by over 68,000 people, saying “O’Reilly’s work frequently depicts real-life harassment of women and in his new show he offers dating tips to members of the public inspired by his misogynistic views, all under the guise of harmless comedy.”
"This has to stop. Sexual harassment and borderline threatening behaviour towards women must never be defended as either comedy or "harmless banter" nor should young men and women be encouraged to regard sexist behaviour as socially acceptable."
An ITV spokesman said: “We have given careful thought to the recent criticism of the character Dapper Laughs, which has focused on his activities outside of the ITV2 programme, whose content was carefully considered and complied. We have taken the decision that we will not be considering this show for a second series.”
O’Reilly has received a string of backlash after his misogynist and insensitive comments. One of the comedian's gigs was cancelled at Cardiff's Students Union after over 700 students protested against his appearance, and O’Reilly has publicly apologised on Twitter after releasing a Christmas album that mocks the homeless to raise money for homeless charities. Shelter announced it will not take any donations from revenue raised by the album.
The former cruise ship entertainer rose to fame via the social media website, Vine, where he has over 600,000 followers, who have viewed his six-second clips over 146million times.
Do you think ITV made the right decision? Should the show ever have been allowed on air? Or are people overreacting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below