Comedian Sophie Duker eviscerates comics who ‘punch down’ on minorities: ‘They’re scared’
Comedian Sophie Duker delivered a powerful message to the haters after being named Entertainer of the Year at the PinkNews Awards 2023.
The PinkNews Awards, sponsored by Lloyds Banks, took place on Wednesday (18 October) celebrating LGBTQ+ icons, change-makers and allies across business, politics, community and entertainment.
Acclaimed British stand-up comedian and writer Duker won the coveted Entertainer of the Year award for their contribution to the LGBTQ+ cultural landscape in the past year.
The queer comic has featured in some of the biggest comedy shows around today such as Taskmaster, Mock The Week and Live at the Apollo. Elsewhere, her solo stand-up shows, Venus and Hag, have been met with critical acclaim and sold-out audiences.
In an exclusive interview with PinkNews after picking up her award, Duker had a clear message to comedians such as Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle who have used their platform to mock and belittle vulnerable minority groups such as the trans community.
“I don’t really have anything to say to comedians who are using their platforms to punch down on LGBTQ+ people and minorities,” Duker declared. “Because I think the reason they are doing it is because they know we are funnier than them.
“They’re scared and I don’t consider them a threat.”
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The writer and performer also extended her gratitude to “so many people” for helping her get to this point in her thriving career.
“[There are] so many people that work in so many different disciplines that are there, being queer, being out, being visible [that] help you to get up and write the jokes and tell the jokes and defy the white cis men that are bringing you down.”
It was a sentiment she echoed about the current Conservative government, which has ramped up anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric against queer refugees and trans people in recent weeks.
“I think the people who are in power now are almost cartoonishly evil. They are career villains who don’t have a convincing backstory. They’re just indiscriminately pinning their colours to the mast of whoever will pay them the most money.”
She continued: “I think it’s important to realise that if you are someone who cares about people in your community, who cares about them living authentically, you’ve got to realise there people aren’t looking out for you.
“That makes it easier because they are not looking out for anyone but themselves.”
Duker has previously in the writing room for TV hits like Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle, and BBC’s Horrible Histories, as well as guest hosting The Guilty Feminist podcast and two BBC companion podcasts for I May Destroy You and Everything I Know About Love.
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