Thursday, 6 May 2010


So, did you see the Danny Dyer story? You know, the one about how he misogynistically advised a reader of the man-tastic Zoo magazine to get over a break-up by cutting his ex-girlfriend's face so that nobody would want her?

The Guardian were outraged about it here, and apparently the sentient beast that is Twitter was pretty upset too. Not as upset as they were about the impending Tory government, but still offended.

The shit hit the fan because the guy who wrote the letter complained, apparently. He would never dream of hurting the ex, who he was seeing for over a year. Zoo, in a rather embarrassed fashion, mumbled some excuse about it being a mistake. They're going to make a donation to Woman's Aid to compensate. Domestic abuse campaigners like Refuge, meanwhile, made the point that slashing women's faces is a serious subject that should not be joked about.

But come on. Who writes to Zoo for advice? Especially if they know that should they get a response, it's going to be from Danny Dyer. The man's an idiot. He's based his entire career around the fact he's a cockerney, and from there extrapolated that all lights in the night sky are UFOs (based on the testimony of proper stereotypical hicks) and that hard men are harder than him.

I can't help wondering how this story would have been treated if they had been made by a funnier or more eloquent person. If you heard it in a routine by Jimmy Carr or Frankie Boyle, for instance, would you immediately take offense on behalf of abused women everywhere?

Yes, the comments were crass. But somehow, because they were made by a man who makes shit shows for Bravo in which he constantly proves himself to be an utter moron, the assumption seems to be that they couldn't have been meant in a flippant or ironic way. He must have been coming from the kind of dark, woman-hating comedy abyss inhabited by Jim Davidson.

To be honest, when I saw the column on its own, it didn't even occur to me that Dyer might actually condone violence against women. I took it as a crude, blokey sort of joke meant to be kept between blokes. Or maybe an attempt to do edgy comedy. But it genuinely never crossed my mind to theorise what Katie Piper might think. I mean, Zoo isn't aimed at her, is it? It's a juvenile magazine for teenage boys, not independent wimmins who have overcome adversity. This particular column is the lad equivalent of "I never thought he was good enough for you." The rest of the content is pretty much "look at those boobs!" and "GOOOAAAALLLL!"

Really, what has this episode taught us? A lesson that surely did not need putting into words: DO NOT TRUST DANNY DYER TO GIVE ADVICE. As if you would. He spends most of his time hanging around with 'Britain's Deadliest Men' and thinks that 'bollocksing' is a word. Which it should be, but that's beside the point.

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