Twitter's Fuming That Jim Sarbh's 'Rape Joke' Made Kangana Ranaut Laugh

Someone please let Kangana Ranaut and Jim Sarbh know that any anecdote with sexual assault as a punch line, is NOT a joke.

A video of Kangana Ranaut with Jim Sarbh at a Cannes after-party that’s currently going viral, teaches us two things. First, there is a particular set of people who somehow think that rape jokes are funny. Second, there’s no point idolising anyone, because everyone disappoints.

For those not on Twitter (and what a gloriously blissful existence you must lead), there’s a video with Queen actor Kangana Ranaut and Padmavati actor Jim Sarbh, that’s currently making Twitter fume.

Jim Sarbh, IIFA 2017

Jim Sarbh

In the video, Kangana and Jim can be seen standing side-by-side, as Sarbh tells a joke. We hear only the punch-line, if it can indeed be called that. Jim can be heard saying, “I’d rather be raped by 12 prostitutes than touch alcohol and the Punjabi says ‘Me too, I didn’t know that was an option.” One doesn’t even have to hear the joke in its entirety to figure out that there’s no way whatever precedes it, could have made it more palatable.

Rape jokes are NOT kosher. In fact, ‘jokes’ that use sexual assault as a punch line in any way or form, are not jokes. Put that on a sticky note and memorise it.

With the recent Kathua rape case and the country-wide protest against it fresh in everyone’s minds, the joke seems especially tone-deaf. Sarbh, when asked for a clarification, had this to say, “Sexual violence is a serious issue and I treat it as such. It is unfortunate that my comments were taken out of context. I do not now nor have I ever condoned any form of sexual violence.”

Comments are taken out-of-context? What was the context? Things people say to trivialise sexual harassment and assault? How to normalise rape culture? How to mock a community’s alcohol dependency while also saying they have questionable morals? What was the context that when taken out, turned his words into a rape joke? The representatives of the actor want us to know that this incident was recorded without his permission, at a ‘private place’ where he was rehearsing for a play. Well then, that makes it all better, doesn’t it?

Kangana Ranaut at Cannes 2018
(Photo: Instagram/ @afashionistasdiaries)

But it isn’t Sarbh who is making social media angry, strangely. What’s gotten Twitter’s goat is the fact that Kangana Ranaut, who took Salman Khan to task for his  description of what his work-out schedule during Sultan was, is seen laughing at Sarbh’s ‘joke’.

To be honest, we’re just as disappointed in Kangana as they are. For someone who has made it a point to shut down people whose comments she finds offensive watching Kangana chuckle at Sarbh’s ‘joke’ is quite disturbing. Or did she actually find his jest funny? The latter possibility makes it all the more worse, doesn’t it?