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Movie producer accuses comedian of mocking suicide victim

August 9, 2018 On August 2 Comedy Central aired a segment of the Jim Jefferies Show in which the comedian mocked the anti-circumcision movement. Jefferies traveled to Israel - "the circumcision capital of the world" - to interview a pro-circumcision Israeli rabbi and an anti-circumcision protester. The segment included photos and videos of dozens of intactivist protesters, including a brief clip of the late Jonathon Conte. While Jefferies made fun of intactivists for their obsession, none of the humor was mean spirited.

Two days after the segment aired, Brendon Marotta, producer of the American Circumcision intactivist documentary, formulated a plan to retaliate against Jefferies. Marotta posted a comment on Facebook suggesting that intactivists should claim "that Comedy Central mocked a suicide in order to call their sponsors and get the show pulled."

Expanding on his idea in a blog post, Marotta accused Jefferies of attacking suicide victims and body shaming men. Marotta claimed that the show went "back into archive footage over two years old" in order to make "a deliberate choice by the editor to use a suicide victim while shaming human rights activists as mentally ill." Baring his fangs, Marotta concluded by attacking Jefferies as "a troubled man who engages in projection to avoid the feelings circumcision brings up about his penis." [1] Marotta's followers have created an online petition demanding that Comedy Central apologize for the segment.

Intactivists have posted photos and videos of their protests on Facebook and YouTube for anyone, including the Jim Jefferies Show, to view and download. It appears that the show used clips from a 2016 Super Bowl protest [2] (three months before Conte's death) and a 2017 protest in Chicago.

Marotta's accusations are absurd. He has no evidence that Jefferies or anyone associated with the show had any awareness of Conte's death. Jonathon Conte was one of several intactivists whose images were used, and Conte appeared for no more than 4 seconds during the 6-minute segment. Jefferies didn't identify Conte or refer to him specifically, so there's no way that the average viewer could know that Conte had committed suicide. Nor did Jefferies single out Conte for ridicule; the comedian mocked all intactivists collectively.

This is a pathetic attempt to punish a comedian who dares to ridicule the anti-circumcision movement. One suspects that the real reason for Marotta's phony outrage is to put himself in the limelight so that he can promote the upcoming release of his anti-circumcision film on Amazon and iTunes later this month.

[1] Intactivists often accuse Americans of having a pro-circumcision cultural bias. Marotta could not include this accusation, since Jefferies is Australian.

[2] The video at 8:40-8:44 matches the clip of Conte that was used by the show.

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