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The Problem With What George Lopez Did, Explained (In Less Than 300 Words Too!)

Mark Davis/Getty Images for TV Land

 

300 words? Really? You think you can do this?

Not if you keep asking stupid questions.

Touche. So, why is George Lopez in the news today?

During a recent show in Phoenix, Lopez joked “There’s still two rules in the fucking Latino family. Don’t marry somebody black, and don’t park in front of our house.” This prompted a Black woman near the stage to stand up and flip Lopez the rare double-fisted bird. Lopez responded by spending the next minute or so berating her, telling her to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up and eventually kicking her out.

Okay. So, was the joke the problem here?

No. It was a perfectly standard race-related joke from a comedian. Whether you personally find Lopez (and/or his joke) funny or offensive is inconsequential. Nothing about the joke itself was egregious. Telling a joke about racism doesn’t make the joke (or the comedian) racist.

The issue here was his reaction. Admittedly, I imagine that a person giving me the finger while in front of me would be distracting, but I also imagine a stand-up veteran like Lopez has experienced much worse. It was a standard joke that received a standard heckle. If her reaction was a bit of an overreaction (it was), his reaction was a nuclear reaction to that overreaction.

Considering the abundance of context here — the numerous examples of Black women treated and regarded with a ferocity and violence that non-Black women probably wouldn’t have received in those same circumstances — you also can’t help but wonder if Lopez felt empowered to go extra hard on her because she was Black.

Ironically, he accused her of not being able to take a joke. But the only angry person here seems to be him.

Damn. You did it. Good job!

Thanks!

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • AlwaysPi7

    George gets the gas face for that one. Thought he was cooler than that.

  • Mika

    He could have conducted himself better. Is he considered a D list celeb? Asking because, well, I really want to know.

    • Other_guy13

      At this point he’s a g list.

    • miss t-lee

      Z-list

      • Other_guy13

        Dang…he further down the list than Carrot-Top. That’s a heck of a fall.

  • Other_guy13

    Idk how her bf didn’t jump onstage after he caller a b though. That’s automatic grounds for termination.

    • always right

      i was thinking the same thing. if i was at a show and for some reason felt compelled to stand up and flip the comedian off, and the comedian decided to call me a b, i can’t think of a reason why my bf wouldn’t be on that stage. and if he just sat there like he didn’t hear anything, i couldn’t think of a reason why i wouldn’t be single after that show.

      • Other_guy13

        Right…this don’t pass the sniff test

    • Cleojonz

      Because maybe she had no business being that disrespectful in the first place? Just walk out then. All the bird flipping was too much.

      • Other_guy13

        Have her back in public….correct her in private is how I was taught. No matter what she do…NO MAN calls my lady a B and I just sit there. F that forever and ever and ever amen.

        • Cleojonz
          • Sigma_Since 93

            I’m taking LOTS of heat upthread for this LOL

            • Cleojonz

              Yeah I saw that. Your analogies are a little off though lol. I think it is being seen as you condoning her being called a b*tch and by extension not defending black women.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                I would think that’s odd because I clearly condemn GL calling her our her name.

                Help me understand how my analogies are off. The underlying point I was attempting to make was regardless if you are in church, hanging with your crew, or in some social situation, someone talking about a situation that may resonate with you is not that person(s) talking directly about you.

                • Cleojonz

                  Only because they make it seem like you are actively trying to support GL by going to such great lengths to make correlations. I’m convinced people don’t read ALL the comments or else they would know, but they are seeing that one and leaping to you caping for George.

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    Is this the Comedy Get Down Tour? If so, I went to this show in DC and I must admit some of the jokes made me very uncomfortable, but it is a comedy show so I guess it is to be expected. George Lopez is not funny…not in the least bit…so there’s that. Although I am bothered by George’s reaction, I am a little more disappointed with how the crowd cheered him on and continued to cheer after he called her a b*tch.

    • Mika

      I never, ever, found him funny.

      • Michelle is my First Lady

        I can’t think of anyone who actually finds him funny.

        • Other_guy13

          yt people maybe?

          • Cheech

            Nah

            • Val

              Lol

            • Quirlygirly

              Cheech is like don’t put that on us..lol

        • Mary Burrell

          Maybe that’s why he’s angry he knows deep down he’s not funny.

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            I think that was exactly it. He knew the joke wasn’t funny and that explains he never finished the joke. Once the BW started with her sh*t, he kept going with that.

  • They both did too much. As the professional, he should’ve been able to keep it moving though.

    • Quirlygirly

      And if he could not take it- just have her escorted out. The joke (or lack there of ) is the joke but to continue to berate and try to humiliate – why? He been in the game too long not to know how to properly handle a heckler

      • Exactly – she just gave him the fingers. I’m sure he’s seen and experienced worse.

  • Courtney Wheeler

    Hecklers are annoying but comedians can over react to them. He’s a veteran, he should of known better. That’s why stand-up comedians HATE camera phones.

  • Ustadh

    But the only angry person here seems to be him.

    My observation too.

  • KNeale

    When something like this is happening and the people watching are cheering/laughing…thats is very scary and sick behavior. Even if I personally didn’t feel the anger she felt about it, I couldn’t laugh while watching her be cussed out and humiliated in real life. I couldn’t do it! What is wrong with people?

    • Michelle is my First Lady

      That was my problem too.

    • Courtney Wheeler

      I think people who are fans of stand-up have this unsaid rule that if you challenge a comedian, be prepared to be eviscerated to tears. I think when you’re in that spotlight you feed off that energy…good or bad.

      It’s a gnarly experience that’s for sure.

      • Cleojonz

        I agree with you too. I think the unspoken rule is if you are rude enough to interrupt a performer than expect to get what you get in response.

        That said there are people that handle moments like this with much better wit and without it getting particularly nasty. You can tell it’s an insecure person when they react this way.

      • KNeale

        I’m halfway there with you but he wasn’t telling any jokes. Her called her a “6itch” and people erupted in cheers. Thats the part that I’m like…

        • RaeRae

          Right! He called her out her name and talked to her like she was a dog. All that felt wrong in my spirit.

          • Mary Burrell

            All i could think was he is calling some woman a b*tch and i was think who is he talking to like that? I didn’t know she was a black woman. I just thought he was being a d*ck. I thought he hates women. And for someone who was near death a couple of years i thought he was a changed man.

            • grownandsexy2

              “And for someone who was near death a couple of years i thought he was a changed man.”

              He wasn’t close enough it seems.

    • cyanic

      Live comedy is an inherently hostile environment.

      • Asano Sokato

        … when you’re not funny.

        • Other_guy13

          I saw a guy crash and burn on stage….I felt so bad for him

      • pls

        I’ve witnessed a “comedian” roast this pretty girl sitting front row. The next year it happened to me cuz I was laughing too hard. People who are funny have dealt with a lot of pain. The funnier they are, the more effed up they are.

        This was his racism showing period. I can’t get over the crowd standing up and cheering. You know they weren’t cheering cuz he was being heckled by a fan. They agreed with his joke on a whole other level. Anyone denying that is full of it.

    • Janelle Doe

      That is my issue. Where are all the people who said don’t be mean to Melania in this situation. How come the tweets don’t align?
      I mean. It would be one thing if he kept on w his jokes and left her alone. But to take on a silent observer and make it even more awkward? Joke is on you boo

    • Mary Burrell

      I was sitting in my living room and was feeling angry and humiliated for that woman.

  • welp…

  • Brina Payne

    I think the racial emotions are getting caught in the mix but on a logical note, she should’ve walked out. I’ve done that before when jokes go tooo far. However, as mentioned before, he’s a professional and I’m sure he’s had things other than a middle finger thrown at him.

    Mercury Retrograde much?

    • SoulMo

      …well if only Mercury were actually retrograde. Jupiter in Libra is tho.

    • Negro Libre

      I don’t think it would’ve been that simple.

      In the vid, it’s not even clear he completes the joke, he gets so sidetracked and angry by the middle finger that logic was never a part of the issue. This is one of the reasons why when comedians are recording specials, they usually selectively hire the people who sit in the front row, because they are ultra-sensitive to people’s reactions.

      Contrary to most people’s beliefs, comedians are known for being ultra-sensitive (it’s almost pathetic if you listen to their podcasts or regular appearances on radio), that’s why I’m kind of surprised these types of vids don’t show up more often. Even Chappelle has had breakdowns dealing with Hecklers before and he’s way more talented and in control of his act than Lopez ever was.

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