Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed during the Parkland school shooting in February 2018, has partnered with ChangeTheRef.org to release a powerful response to Louis C.K.’s controversial jokes about the tragedy. Shot in the form of a stand-up comedy routine, the clip finds Oliver making a point of how serious gun control needs to be taken and proving it’s a topic any American shouldn’t joke about, especially not C.K.
C.K. made headlines in December for a joke in which he referenced the Parkland tragedy. Speaking about the student survivors, C.K. said, “They testify in front of Congress, these kids. What are they doing? You’re young! You should be crazy! You should be unhinged! Not in a suit. You’re not interesting. Because you went to a high school where kids got shot? Why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way, and now I’ve got to listen to you talking?”
The joke caused backlash on social media, with comedians such as Jim Carrey speaking out and being highly critical of C.K. Weeks later, during a stand-up set in San Jose, California, C.K. addressed the backlash by joking, “If you ever need people to forget that you jerked off, what you do is you make a joke about kids that got shot.”
Oliver’s rebuttal to C.K., embedded below, argues why joking about school shootings is harmful to the nation at large. Ever since the Parkland shooting nearly one year ago, Oliver has been an outspoken voice in the fight for stricter gun control laws in America. To celebrate what would have been his late son’s 18th birthday last September, Oliver rallied 1,000 supporters to paint a mural outside the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Virginia.
Oliver’s full stand-up set is below.