Kurt Metzger, the controversial comedian who fell from grace in 2016 after a series of inflammatory online comments regarding rape victims, has a new gig: writing for Sacha Baron Cohen’s controversial new TV show Who Is America?.
The show’s IMDB page lists Metzger, along with seven other men, as series writers; each are only credited for one episode.
Metzger previously made a name for himself writing for Amy Schumer’s breakthrough show Inside Amy Schumer. His brand of comedy is notoriously abrasive, but after several women came forward accusing fellow comedian Aaron Glaser of rape and sexual assault, Metzger took things to a whole new level.
Allegations against Glaser first came to light in 2016 after a woman posted in a private Facebook group for female comedians, warning others about her experience with Glaser. “Posting this on behalf of a woman in the community, who would like to remain anonymous, but wants to warn other women and let other women who may have been raped by this man know that they’re not alone,” the post read. According to the post, multiple women approached the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater with their allegations against Glaser, who hosted a monthly stand-up showcase there; while no police report was filed, Glaser was subsequently banned “permanently” from the theater.
That didn’t sit well with Metzger, who took to social media to share his outspoken support of Glaser. In a snarky Facebook post, he mocked Upright Citizens Brigade’s handling of the rape allegations, thoroughly lambasting the comedy venue and Glaser’s victims. Metzger referred to them and other Glaser decriers as “an unthinking herd of mewling progressive cattle.”
He took to Twitter to share similar sentiments, tweeting scorchingly-hot takes like, “Rape is hard to prove. That's why u don't tell victims to dick around on twitter before calling the cops. That's controversial?? My bad!!”
He later added, “Wouldn't blame a victim for trying to destroy an attacker's rep. But I do blame someone who doesn't even know the victim's name doing it.”
During the first part of this saga, Schumer stayed conspicuously quiet, instead electing to block Twitter users critiquing her or Metzger. She later broke her silence, tweeting, “I am so saddened and disappointed in Kurt Metzger. He is my friend and a great writer and I couldn't be more against his recent actions.”
Schumer said that Metzger was no longer working as a writer on her show; she later clarified that this was because the show was on a production hiatus, not because Metzger was fired. But, “[Metzger’s] words are not mine,” Schumer clarified.
Schumer would later offer a half-hearted defense of Metzger to the likes of Charlie Rose and Lena Dunham. “He baits people, he’s the problem, no question,” she said in an interview with Rose, “but the focus is on him rather that what the real, main problem is.” To Dunham, she acknowledged that although Metzger was her “friend,” this particular situation “was just so bad.” However, she was quick to question Metzger’s critics. “Why are these women treating him like he raped someone?” she said to Dunham. “He's not Bill Cosby; Kurt has never raped.”
Still, Metzger is no stranger to harassing women online. In 2013, Metzger took aim at feminist bloggers Lindy West and Sady Doyle, who were speaking out against rape humor in comedy. They claimed Metzger, who was already writing for Inside Amy Schumer at the time, targeted them by using impersonator accounts on social media to post obscene Photoshopped images. In comments left on West’s Facebook account, Metzger refuted the statistic that one in four women would be victims of unwanted sexual contact, calling it “an old feminist lie” and claiming that the real number is “more like 1 in 14.” Metzger was quick to clarify that “not all feminists” believe this statistic—just “a certain kind. Let’s call her a cunt.”
In a subsequent YouTube interview, Metzger directed more vitriol at Doyle. “Listen, you fucking fuckface. I don’t give a—listen, put me down for pro-rape as far as you’re concerned.”
When West called out Metzger for his vitriolic language, she was roundly attacked by trolls and faced a fresh wave of harassment from Metzger himself. And when Doyle tweeted at Amy Schumer and Comedy Central inquiring about a response to Metzger’s actions, it became clear that he’d faced little to no consequences; in fact, as Metzger so smugly pointed out, he’d even gotten a raise.
Metzger had also previously referred to Rihanna in Facebook comments as a “dumb bitch” who “deserve[d]” the physical abuse she endured at the hands of Chris Brown—after all, since she was attracted to him, she was to blame, Metzger reasoned.
With his new stint on Sacha Baron Cohen’s show, it appears that Metzger has gone largely unscathed by his tendency to spew misogynist rhetoric online. And while Sacha Baron Cohen is no stranger to courting controversy—in the most recent episode of Who Is America?, Cohen persuades conservative lobbyists and congressmen to support a fictitious program teaching young children to shoot and kill—Metzger’s involvement on the show is bound to raise eyebrows.