Aries Spears and Tiffany Haddish are some weirdos. A lawsuit filed Monday by a 22-year-old woman and her 15-year-old brother alleges that comedians Spears and Haddish sexually abused and groomed the siblings when they were just 14 and 7. The Daily Beast, who broke the news, published a lengthy account of how disturbing the allegations are.
According to the allegations, Haddish was particularly close with the children, who are named John and Jane Doe in the suit. She became friends with their mother on the comedy circuit; they referred to her as Auntie Tiff, and she called them her niece and nephew. Nothing too out of the ordinary there. Who doesn’t have play cousins, aunties, and uncles? But, here’s where it gets weird.
The suit alleges that Haddish used her relationship with John and Jane Doe’s mother to coerce the children into acting in sketches with sexually suggestive material. One of the claims made is that Haddish and Spears attempted to get the 14-year-old Jane Doe to perform in a sketch where she would simulate an oral sex act on a sandwich, with Haddish coaching her through it. The sketch was never filmed.
Another sketch that actually was filmed by Haddish and Spears was called “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.” In this video, Aries Spears watches the boy play with his toys, take a bubble bath, and engage in other pedophilic and suggestive behaviors, all soundtracked by R. Kelly’s “Bump n’ Grind.” Originally, the video was uploaded by Funny or Die but was quickly removed from the service. A Funny or Die representative told The Daily Beast they “found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content” and that the site was “not involved with the conceptualization, development, funding, or production of this video.” The Daily Beast has also confirmed the video's existence.
What Spears and Haddish prove here is that every joke doesn’t need to be told. Some jokes are too vile to be funny. Some jokes are at the expense of people who don’t deserve to be messed with. Some jokes can actively harm people.
We are living in an era where comedians are the most delusional they’ve ever been. Too many believe they’re warriors fighting for the virtues of the First Amendment and that everyone else is too sensitive. Some comedians are too stupid to understand what right freedom of speech actually does and does not warrant people. They think anything they say or do should be fair game if it’s in the service of a joke.
Spears’ rep has called this suit a “shakedown” while Haddish’s attorney has called it “meritless.” Perhaps they’ll find out the hard way that some shit just ain’t funny.