Seems to be a theme this week of attacking
comedians, what with Scottish comic Susan Calman getting bullied for her non-
opinion on Independence and Reggie Hunter getting booted for being himself at a
corporate gig- the papers raged on with accusations of 'fees to be returned' in
Reggie's case and 'Bullying from the Nats' in Susan's case.
Either way it was a bad week for comedy, especially
as the Scotsman and various other newspapers emblazoned their headline
"death threats for comedian" never since Salman Rushdie have we seen
adverse reaction to an art form. Though I still don't know who threatened death
to Susan as it hasn't in itself been publicised (maybe due to a police
investigation) and can only imagine the horror that it rang- having been
threatened online two years ago myself for talking about Old Firm
Sectarianism....it's scary stuff.
I took screen shots and reported the website and
death threaten-ers to the police and made an official complaint. So what is
this special new Scottish force Police
Scotland doing about this onslaught of abuse towards female comics?
In my case they took all the details and assured me
to watch out for more abuse, but they basically told me not to be contentious
on Twitter....I explained "I am a comedian, I am allowed to make jokes and
contentious remarks without being threatened by death" But I was happy I
reported it and made sure the cops were aware of the people who being abusive
for future reference.
So many politicians came out to support Susan and
quite rightly so, but it's just lip service....we want to be protected for our
freedom of speech without being threatened by death....what's next a Scolds
Bridle for 'cheeky women'?
I would like a Police Scotland and Chief Constable
Stephen House to have a full investigation into the death threats given to
comedians and am appalled that Susan had to turn to a newspaper to highlight
this issue as clearly the cops are so far doing nothing.
Having been a victim of online bullying and name
calling, and threats of 'getting my house burnt down' I know how this feels and
the police did reassure me they would help me, but by telling me 'not to be
contentious' on twitter? what the hell is that about? I will quite happily face
criticism and tell me you hate my comedy, explain how much you think am a fat
ugly woman...fair play...but to THREATEN ME WITH DEATH? It's not on.
On a side issue I speak about this situation in my
recent show, how famous people get the press to highlight their online abuse
and how the cops will kick doors in at 6am if some Olympiad is abused, but if
you are wee Betty McDade from a housing scheme and someone is threatening you
on Facebook....you are on your own. I know this to be true as some of my
Facebook followers have testified to such....there shouldn't be a law for one
and separate law for others. This isn't Victorian times, where the Middle
classes are protected and the lower classes are left to defend themselves. All
online abuse should be treated seriously, whether you are an Olympic swimmer, a
comedian or someone who is living on benefits trying to use social networking
I want the death threats to stop and the only way
they will stop is if we constantly report them, screen shot the tweets and
facebook threats and remember there is always a way to trace them. Everything
every written on the web can be traced. Stay safe and lets all work together to
stop death threats online.
So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on
twitter @JaneyGodley for updates.