Dapper Laughs’ ITV2 show cancelled after fellow comedians’ open letter accuses him of misogyny

The popular vlogger will not return to the youth channel after an online petition and open letter criticised his dating show for encouraging sexual harassment and normalising sexism

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Controversial dating show Dapper Laughs: On The Pull has been axed by ITV2. 

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In the first series Dapper Laughs – the stage name of comedian Daniel O’Reilly – help singles “pull birds” with misogynistic and boorish dating tips such as: “Just show her your penis; if she cries, she’s just playing hard to get”

A spokesperson for the broadcaster has released a statement, saying: “We have given careful thought to the recent criticism of the character Dapper Laughs, which has focused on his activities outside of the ITV2 programme, whose content was carefully considered and complied. We have taken the decision that we will not be considering this show for a second series.”

Dapper Laughs – who found fame on social media platform Vine with his real-life depictions of “harmless” sexual harassment – has come under fire for degrading women and normalising sexism with his laddish brand of comedy.

O’Reilly has also been condemned after footage emerged of a recent live stand-up routine in which he was heard making light of rape. 

Since the show first aired, ITV has received 29 complaints from the public. An online petition calling for On The Pull’s cancellation was signed by over 68,000 people while an open letter was penned to ITV by a number of comedians including Jenny Eclair, Frances Barber and Isy Suttie

“This whole escapade has shown, quite luridly, that misogyny still exists, that it still thrives and that we all have a responsibility to be vigilant and speak out whenever and wherever it rears its head,” reads the open letter. 

“Right now it will feel like a lot of people are against you and the natural inclination could be to go on the defensive,” it continues, addressing O’Reilly. “We get that. But this could also be an incredible opportunity to sincerely think about and privately explore what true engagement with 50 per cent of Planet Earth’s population could be like when they’re not reduced to ‘gash’, ‘pussy’ or ‘minge’. They are women.They are human beings. They are as amazing, banal, interesting and flawed as you. The door is always open to you should you ever wish to make an earnest attempt to understand that.”

ITV had previously defended the programme saying in a statement: “Dapper’s pulling tips are firmly based on treating women with respect…We realise that all humour is subjective and accept that Dapper’s humour is more risqué but feel that his unique brand of banter and brash charm is neither sexist or degrading to women and that his approach to pulling is based on displaying the right attitude to women in order to succeed.” 

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O’Reilly has also released an apology, adding: “Some comedians push the boundaries in the name of entertainment. That means taking risks. But I think it’s important that if we over step the mark and cause upset that we apologise.”