clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Comedian Jim Jefferies confronts Diversity and Comics creator over offensive remarks

New, 73 comments

‘That’s not good’

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Diversity & Comics YouTube host Richard C. Meyer’s homophobic, sexist, transphobic and racist statements have landed him in reports from mainstream publications like BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast and The Telegraph before. Now, he’s the focus of a new video from comedian Jim Jefferies, who called out Meyer for his views on diversity in comics and those who create them.

Jefferies created the segment for his Comedy Central show, The Jim Jefferies Show. The segment takes place at this past week’s San Diego Comic-Con. It largely focuses on “ComicsGate,” a campaign that attacks “people pushing to diversify the comic book industry, with trolls and their influential enablers targeting those calling for increased representation for women, different races, and the LGBT community,” according to BuzzFeed.

Meyer is one of the leading figures in the ComicsGate movement. The Daily Beast referred to Meyer’s Twitter activity as “goading” his followers into attacking women in the comic book industry. He’s a notorious figure within a “mainstream right-wing” comics community, as described by artist Ethan Van Sciver, another popular ComicsGate figure, according to a report from BuzzFeed.

Meyer is a controversial figure — and he sat at the heart of Jefferies’ video. Meyer told Jefferies that comics books are “weirdly dying” because of politics, “specifically identity politics being shoved into everything.” Meyer said that having characters stop looking like a “1980’s Dallas Cowboys cheerleader,” and giving female superheroes smaller breasts was part of the issue.

“Ms. Marvel was introduced as a Pakistani-American muslim,” Meyer said. “RiRi Williams, who replaced Iron Man — if you don’t like her, it’s because you’re racist or sexist, but probably both.”

“It would upset a racist,” Jefferies replied.

“I think it would,” Meyer answered.

Jefferies spoke to a group of other Comic-Con attendees about their opinions on the issue surrounding diversity in comics, and their thoughts on Meyer. One woman referred to Meyer as a “garbage human,” while others spoke about the historic relationship between comics and politics.

“I think the thing with comics is that they’ve always followed the trends of the political landscape,” one man, dressed as Green Lantern, said. “Take Superman; his whole thing is that he’s an alien on a completely different planet, and has adopted America as his home.”

The video ends with Jefferies confronting Meyer over one particular video, in which Meyer suggested a member of the industry “sucked” her way to the top. Meyer uses an extremely derogatory and sexist term for the woman in his video, which Jefferies calls out as simply “not good.”

“Look, Richard’s clearly upset,” Jefferies said in a voice-over. “He can no longer pick up any comic book and instantly relate to the characters he sees. And that’s a real feeling, because it’s how women and minority groups have felt their entire lives. Wake the fuck up, Richard. The comics you don’t like aren’t written for you.”

Meyer has since posted a response video that alleges certain scenes were taken out of context during the editing process in Jefferies’ video. Still, there’s no disputing the words he spoke — and the statements he made in previous videos.

Update: Meyer sent this statement over to Polygon regarding the video. It can be read in full below.

Regarding the Jim Jefferies video, I’d describe it as an egregiously edited hit-piece that has hilariously back-fired. My enemies are gnashing their teeth over it and even his own fans realize it is a viciously inept hatchet job.

Regarding his pearl-clutching over the 4th grade swear-words I used once in a single video 9 months ago, I’m arching an eyebrow (higher than his) at the ten years of misogynistic rape jokes that he built his stand-up career on.

I could tell he had an abiding interest in diversity since one person out of his ten-person crew wasn’t white.

Correction: An older version of this story referred to Meyer’s channel as Comics & Diversity instead of Diversity & Comics. The story has been updated to reflect these corrections.