Josh Denny, a stand-up comedian who is perhaps best known as the host of Food Network series Ginormous Food, invoked the wrath of Twitter over the weekend by asserting that “straight white male” is a derogatory term tantamount to the most offensive word in the English language:
“Straight White Male” has become this century’s N-Word. It’s used to offend and diminish the recipient based on assumption and bias. No difference in the usage.— Josh Denny (@JoshDenny) May 18, 2018
This is the first message in a nine-tweet thread that references both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Kanye West, and ends with a plug for his new comedy album. Twitter users wasted no time in dragging Denny over his rant:
Comparing "SWM" with the N-word is outrageously tone-deaf, inane, and wildly false. I don't care how "persecuted" by "racism" you feel as a white dude, if you think use of the term is equivalent to a slur arising from centuries of SLAVERY AND SEGREGATION, you're crazy.— Mark Hughes (@markhughesfilms) May 18, 2018
I think Josh Denny is looking for a come up so he decided to piss off the African Americans. Ignore him. You won't get a Netflix special out of us, bro.— Kima Jones (@kima_jones) May 19, 2018
You know why "Straight White Male" isn't some big bad thing, @JoshDenny, you incandescent idiot?— Quinn Cummings (@quinncy) May 19, 2018
BECAUSE YOU ASSHOLES RUN EVERYTHING.
You are most of the CEOs, the congressmen, the Senators, the powers that be. One of your ilk is currently the worst president ever. 2/5
The n-word is considered the most offensive word in the English language. “Straight white male” is ... not. https://t.co/njUfJKA0g7— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) May 19, 2018
Denny’s remarks also prompted some Twitter users to dig through the comedian’s backlog of Tweets, which contain several truly ugly messages from years ago:
Hey @FoodNetwork— Samoa Hoe (@JennMint) May 20, 2018
Are you aware that @JoshDenny, the host of your show 'Ginormous Food,' has a ginormous history of using racial slurs & misogynistic & racist language?
I'd like to know exactly where you stand on Josh Denny's constant use of racial slurs and misogyny pic.twitter.com/1LSy4MtuD6
As the backlash raged, Denny stuck to his guns about his initial statements and even remarked that he liked the “healthy debate” unfolding on Twitter:
This has been fun. I deeply appreciate those that engaged in healthy debate and dialogue and could decipher jokes from points I was trying to make. It all comes from a place of wanting us to be better to each other. Everyone deserves love.— Josh Denny (@JoshDenny) May 19, 2018
The owners of Santa Monica’s Westside Comedy Theatre, where Denny has hosted a monthly show for four years, did not appreciate this “healthy debate.” As Denny explains in a Facebook post published on Saturday, they actually canceled his show following the Twitter rant. “Not surprisingly today, the venue owners called me to say that the show is done, and I’m not welcome at the club — based on their desire to be ‘inclusive,’’’ Denny writes. “But as the internet is teaching us, with people like Owen Benjamin, Steven Crowder, Ben Shapiro, and Jordan Peterson — that doesn’t include ‘diversity’ in ideas or thought.”
The Food Network has not commented on Denny’s rant, but it certainly does not look great for the host of a Triple D-esque travel show about extra-large comfort foods to be engaging in what could easily be viewed as white nationalist rhetoric on Twitter. The most recent season of Ginormous Foods aired in fall 2017, and this tweet indicates that the comedian has not worked with the network since that series wrapped up:
People trying to get you fired from a job you haven’t had for almost a year is peak Twitter.— Josh Denny (@JoshDenny) May 19, 2018
Denny is still prominently featured on the Food Network homepage, and he lists the network and show in his Twitter bio. Eater has reached out to the Food Network for comment. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.
• Josh Denny [Twitter]
• Josh Denny [Facebook]
• Comedian Josh Denny Gets Roasted for Comparing ‘N-Word’ to ‘Straight White Male’ [Complex]