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Who is Dapper Laughs, and why are so many people angry with him?

Everything you need to know, and some you don’t want to.

VINE STAR AND ITV2 comedian Dapper Laughs is in the news a lot this week.

He’s just had a gig cancelled at Cardiff University following student protests against it, and also hit headlines in a very public spat with internet culture site UsVsTh3m.

Here’s what’s going on.

So, who is this guy exactly?

Dapper Laughs is the stage name of Woking man Daniel O’Reilly. He made his name by posting laddish gags on Vine, where his six-second clips have gained him almost 600,000 followers.

https://vine.co/v/Mwz5PTAJj3Q

O’Reilly used this Vine stardom as a springboard to the world of telly, where he was signed up by ITV2 to host their dating show On The Pull.

The show – which started just a few weeks ago, catapulting Dapper off the internet and into the media spotlight – shows the self-styled “pulling magnet” helping out men less fortunate than him. And generally dispensing his own unique brand of #bantz.

Source: itv2/YouTube

It has earned a cult following. However, it’s also been called “unpleasant sexism dressed up as banter”.

Oh, and he has celebrity fans. Here he is telling a joke with Arg from TOWIE.

http://vine.co/v/OAibTunU9Xl

What’s people’s problem with him exactly?

Well, part of it is that his laddish humour suggests a worldview in which women – or “gash”, as he sometimes likes to refer to them – are merely sex objects.

But more serious concerns centre around the issue of consent. Dapper has faced accusations of trivialising sexual assault and rape, in Vines like this one:

https://vine.co/v/hv9MnieaT0Q

Dapper has also been accused of using harassment for his comedy – as in this Vine where he calls out to a woman on crutches on the street: “Nice crutch, can I lick it?”

https://vine.co/v/hl0uB7WI6Yp

And then there are tweets like this (since deleted):

Source: Usvsth3m

Source: Usvsth3m

Vicky Chandler, who led the campaign against him at Cardiff University, has said that O’Reilly’s comedy “normalises” sexual harassment, and presents it in a way that “make[s] young men especially not understand that what they’re doing is completely wrong.”

Writing in the Huffington Post, Lee Kern has accused ITV of having “helped create a rapists’ almanac” by bringing Dapper Laughs to television.

Riiiiight… Isn’t it all just a pisstake though? Why are people taking it so seriously?

One defence of Dapper’s comedy is that it’s all really just a ironic satire of lad culture. That like Sacha Baron Cohen with Ali G, O’Reilly is laughing AT Dapper rather than with him.

However, critics would say that this is undermined by the response of his fans. “Legend” is pretty standard.

Another line of criticism is along the lines of that Caitlin Moran tweeted this morning:

re: Dapper Laughs and his “irony” – the thing about “pretending” to be a c***, is that it’s exactly the same as BEING a c***. You’re still saying the same things, making the same people laugh, causing the same problems – but with the weasel “get-out” of irony. See also: “ironic” homophobia, “ironic” racism.

Fine. And what are these latest developments?

Cardiff University has made the decision to cancel Dapper’s gig at the college, with the student union saying students “have overwhelmingly told us they don’t want him here.”

O’Reilly has responded to the news by saying he “fully respects” the university’s decision and “I wish them all the best”. He adds:

I have made the difficult decision to not take ‘The Full Length’ tour to Wales at all.

Dapper also became embroiled in a public row with UsVsTh3m writer Abi Wilkinson. She questioned his genuine commitment to helping homeless people by pointing out several jokes he had made about “tramps”, including a song lyric where he shouts at one “You smell like shit.”

When Dapper tweeted about Wilkinson, his fans responded by sending her abuse on Twitter.

Source: Usvsth3m (tweet since deleted)

How has Dapper responded to this controversy?

Except the one we’ve already mentioned, Dapper’s only public statement has been to retweet some people praising him. Like this female Twitter user:

And this is what happened after Dapper retweeted Lucy’s tweet:

More: Pick-up artist who encourages ‘choking’ women deported from Australia after protests>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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