Video game voice actor Troy Baker (“Booker DeWitt” in Bioshock Infinite, “The Joker” in Batman: Arkham Origins) discovered the wrath of the “professionally offended” when he decided to retweet a joke he found funny on twitter. Now one may ask-what vile disgusting thing could he have posted that could lead to so much dogpiling that he would choose to abandon the social media platform?
There is nothing else forthcoming-that was the ENTIRETY of the joke.
Almost immediately, the #SocJus mobs pounced upon his account with relentless outrage, tone-policing and verbal abuse (as would be becoming from groups who constantly claim themselves to be victims of online harassment):
— planetransgender (@planetrans) July 23, 2015
@TroyBakerVA Has it ever occurred to you that some jokes aren’t funny? How about I make a “White people” joke? Would you laugh too?
— M.I.N (@ShatteredAwe) July 23, 2015
“It’s a shame people would rather choose to be offended than laugh” – Troy Baker, falling into the despotic patriarch role he plays of late.
— Stephen Beirne (@stbeirne) July 23, 2015
The idea that Troy Baker didn’t fuck up because he’s a nice dude is BULLSHIT. He handled things poorly, simple as.
— Prince of Cats (@mojaveexpress) July 23, 2015
And after hours of this, Baker made a decision:
…and those who made this happen celebrated in a mature and respectful way:
When I heard Troy Baker left twitter. https://t.co/rx7SRMKGde
— Isaiah T. Taylor (@Bboy_Izilla) July 23, 2015
This goes out to Troy Baker and all the guys who were forced off twitter b/c they aren’t allowed to be bigots anymore pic.twitter.com/Dolouxyn7j
— David Ratner (@vid_icarus) July 23, 2015
However, dissenting voices chimed in to point out that PERHAPS this whole situation had been blown out of proportion and a little rational re-evaluation was in order:
— Samurai Derp Hiatus (@NinjaWarrior987) July 23, 2015
I’m so sick to death of these oversensitive cry babies getting offended over anything and everything just to create some drama #TroyBaker
— Luke Phillips (@LethalLuke1993) July 23, 2015
@TroyBakerVA I felt like the joke was more of a shot at Brett Michaels than anyone else. Troy, don’t let the shrieking harpies run you off.
— NotMyCupO’Tea (@Dragon_Voyager) July 23, 2015
This lead to a twitter hashtag called #IStandWithTroy being created (which as of this writing has received 434,000+ impresions):
— DavidGX (@DavidGX) July 23, 2015
If you ever cave, you’ll spend life walking the PC minefield, just inches away from your next “that’s offensive” landmine #IStandWithTroy
— Cody (@fangbreaker) July 23, 2015
@TroyBakerVA Don’t let the bullies win. Grow a backbone. The more people do that, the more powerless they become.
— Quawonk (@quawonk) July 23, 2015
— John-Clayton Wilson (@Jc2theW) July 23, 2015
…And it is a shame that people can’t take a joke, especially one that’s pretty obviously not malicious. Nobody should be above a little ribbing.
Humor is the great leveler, after all. It’s part of what makes us human, regardless of gender or race. If you can’t joke about a particular demographic, you’re basically saying that demographic isn’t equal. I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty terrible.
I also find the ferocity of our current online outrage culture rather frightening at times. People should be allowed to make bad jokes. They aren’t necessarily bad people because of it. We’ve all said off-colored things in private; sometimes those things slip into public. Sometimes we must tame our urge to rage against something, anything, someone, anyone who offends us. Being outraged, shaming others—are these really the tools of progress and change?
As I’ve said previously, internet mob justice isn’t justice at all.
We at Geek Juice have always been vocal that as a satirical pop culture website first and foremost we believe in the concept of potentially offensive humor as free speech. The lesson modern hacktivists cannot seem to comprehend is that just because you disagree with something does not mean it is hate speech and must be banned or shamed out of existence. We feel that hugbox/safe-space culture does society a disservice and essentially creates mindsets that won’t be able to function properly in the real world-humor is a great way to make that point in a more digestible way than lecturing, histrionics and rhetoric.
But in this case, we honestly don’t see more than a joke making fun of an aging rock icon, an actor whose had many questionable cosmetic surgeries and a recent cause celebre who while making a personal choice we have no problem with DOESN’T exclude her from being a target of humor.
#IStandWithTroy Because little special snow flakes are not the thought police.
— Shane Orth (@Shane_A_Orth) July 23, 2015
TL:DR-sometimes a joke is JUST a joke…man up, ya pussies.
*This article does not necessarily represent the views of all members of Geek Juice…but it does for a lot of them (and we’re mature enough around here to agree to disagree like adults)