Leslie Jones defends comedians amidst Trevor Noah backlash
US comedian Leslie Jones has shot back at critics who dig up comedian's old jokes to use it as ammunition against them, labelling the practice "dumb".
Trevor Noah recently hogged headlines across the world after a joke he made in 2013 about Aboriginal women was shared by Aboriginal activist and photographer LaVonne Bobongie. The clip once again caused outrage and calls for a boycott of Trevor's upcoming Australian tour.
Speaking on US TV show The View this week, Leslie addressed the rise of outrage over old jokes made by comedians.
She questioned why people didn't seem to understand that comedians were just the "court jesters" of society and shouldn't be looked at for perfect, politically correct commentary.
"Stop holding comedians to this standard. Stop doing that. Our job is to make the ugliest stuff funny. That's our job. We are court jesters. We are clowns. That is what we do. We come out and we make this terrible situation laughable, unless you wanna cry for the rest of your life."
She said that people should "stop being offended" and looking for controversy.
"I think that's so stupid. It's just so dumb. I've been doing comedy since 1986. If y'all go back, y'all are gonna see so much inappropriate stuff, because you can't hold me accountable for what I did in 1987!"
In a video that went viral, Trevor discussed the idea that there is no beautiful race before making a comment about Aboriginal women.
"And I know some of you are sitting there now going, ‘Oh Trevor, yeah, but I’ve never seen a beautiful Aborigine’. Yeah, but you know what you say? You say ‘yet’, that’s what you say; ‘yet’. Because you haven’t seen all of them, right?” he joked in the video.
Trevor responded to the outrage over the video, telling Australian radio station Triple J that it was important to look at the context of the joke.
“At the time, I was trying to make a joke about how all women are beautiful and I was responding to comments about certain women being called unflattering in South Africa. It’s one of those things where, if you were to make the joke again you would probably make it better.”