I Used To Be A Sh*t Head And Tell Offensive Jokes And I'm Sorry

Making jokes at the expense of others is something I’m very ashamed of.
Publish date:
June 6, 2014
sexism, racism, apologies, offensive jokes

I would like to do some explaining to address my offensive tweets and questionable past that have come up in the comments section of my articles recently.

I tweeted this two years ago (I deleted it upon being reminded of it):

“Ugh. Just accidentally rubbed my arm on a minority in the subway. That’s how Contagion started right?”

Any normal person would see that and think, “Holy sh*t, she’s saying that all minorities are gross and disease-stricken, what a racist bitch!”

In my mind, I was thinking, “Haha, I accidentally touched a Latino person’s hand on the subway, it’s like how Gwenyth Paltrow touched a Chinese man’s hand and caused Contagion, what a dumb plot for a movie.”

This tweet obviously backfired. Reading it now, it is 100 percent racist, even if you have seen "Contagion" and got the reference. Also, it wasn’t funny. I sincerely apologize.

A larger issue that I need to address is my history with Anthony, of the Opie & Anthony show. I dated him for a little over a year starting in 2010. I found his show funny and was a regular listener for quite a while before I met him in person. I’ve always had a dark sense of humor, and I prided myself on not getting offended by misogynist jokes. I was a huge tomboy growing up and always felt comfortable being “one of the guys.”

When I started dating Anthony, his humor and views definitely rubbed off on me, which tends to happen when I’m in a relationship. Constantly being around misogynistic and offensive jokes became my life, and I participated. I’m not blaming anyone for forcing me to laugh at offensive jokes -- that was the style of humor I was into at that time. I was also 26 and still getting to know myself. I thought Anthony and his pals were hilarious.

Anthony did an Internet show from his house a couple times a month that I would be on. We would do commentary for shows like "Hoarders" and "Toddlers & Tiaras." By “commentary” I mean we would make fun of and criticize the people on the shows (yes, even the ones with mental illness). I laughed at tons of Anthony’s misogynistic and racist jokes. I’m sure I’ve said some things that were mean and disrespectful as well. I thought I was cool for being so laid back and "in" on the joke with my older boyfriend and his comedian friends. They always had respect for women who could "hang with the boys," and I wanted to be accepted as a cool chick too.

Cut to 2014 and I’m writing articles about accused rapists and criticizing men for saying degrading things about women. I’m the definition of a hypocrite. I went through my Twitter timeline and old blog posts, and I honestly was surprised at some of the stuff I said. I was into "shock comedy," but it mostly just came off as mean and shitty.

I’m not the same person I was a few years ago. I’m legitimately embarrassed about some of the things I said and did. They were funny and entertaining at the time to my boyfriend and I, but deep down I knew that wasn’t the real me. I’ve spent most of my twenties trying to fit in and adapt to the men I date. Sometimes I would lose my own identity because I didn’t have the confidence to be the person I knew I truly was. It's embarrassing that it took this long to not be afraid of being myself. In the past, I didn't think about how my words would affect people. I believed I didn’t care about offending people. Well, now I’m a writer and I have an opinion that is heard by many people, and I don't want to use that platform to say racist and offensive things, nor do I want to be that person.

I realize that thinking those jokes were funny and then having the luxury to change my mind is the definition of privilege and a big part of what racism is. All I can say is that getting out of that environment with my ex was an eye opener. I now see those jokes for what they are -- mean, hurtful, and disrespectful. I have much more respect now for myself and others than I did back then. Racism and sexism are serious issues, not a joke.

I can’t just say, “Don’t pay attention to anything I’ve said in the past,” because I can’t change it. It’s there forever. But, what I can say is that I made mistakes that I am ashamed of and hope that I can redeem myself. I have no interest in being that person anymore.

I'm constantly trying to improve myself. I hope I can continue writing here, because I love entertaining strangers with my words more than anything. And again, I'm truly sorry for the tasteless, racist and offensive things I've said in the past.

xoxo Melissa