Where do we draw the line with comedy and politics?

Sean Plunket 24/05/2019

Comedian Guy Willliams joins Sean Plunket in conversation to discuss the importance of free speech, the nuance of comedic expression and the reality that minorities face everyday that might contribute to the argument in strenghtening hate speech laws.

Sean began the conversation by including Don Brash who was at one point the punchline to a joke made by Guy suggesting he should run him over.

Guy immediately apologised and explained how he has grown in his consideration of others over the years since the joke was first made.

Don took it in good humour and said he understood it was only a joke. He believes that there are some today who are "too precious" about things today.

What's changed for me is that I've realised that the experience in life and especially on the internet is different depending on your gender, your ethnicity, and your sexuality among other things.

Sean asks "does that mean there are different rules of sensibility and freedom of speech?" Guy explains that htere are not different rules but people should be more considerate of what consequences might arise from their words.

I'm lucky that I go through my life I don't often get called the number of insults that apply to women.


"The first thing that shook me obviously was my partner Golriz Ghahraman getting elected to Parliament and people saying load the shotguns and stuff like that."

It was frightening.

"Even though I get a lot of haters and stuff like that it's not even close it's not five percent of what she gets."

When exploring the difference between making a joke and hate speech Guy explained, 'while I don't think I was ever a threat to anyone or inciting violence, if people were offended by anything I say or something like that I'm totally open to looking at what I said."

"The point is is that white supremacy is now veiled behind comedy and that's something I worry about."

Now that I'm learning and I think improving as a person.

You can listen to the full interview above.