"I find good men talking about bad men incredibly irritating, and this is something the good men are doing a lot of at the moment," the Aussie comedian said with conviction.
Gadsby is the star of Netflix’s stand-up special Nanette, where she frequently discusses her frustrations with male impunity and personal experiences with homophobia. “The good men don’t have to wake up early for their opportunity to monologue their hot take on misogyny. They get prime-time TV and the late shows.”, she said in her opening remarks at the gala.
Although it seems like Gadsby is on genuinely friendly terms with the “Jimmys” of late-night TV, she is irked by the way they are appropriating the topic of misogyny and coining themselves as the "good guys" of the industry. In her speech, she calls upon all the supposed "good men" in Hollywood to check in on their biases and recognize that they are not the ones who get to set the boundaries between themselves and who they see as the predators of Hollywood.
“You know why we need to talk about this line between good men and bad men? Because it’s only good men who get to draw that line. And guess what? All men believe they are good.” Gadsby said.
“This world — a world full of good men who do very bad things and still believe in their heart that they are good men because they have not crossed the line, because they move the line for their own good. Women should be in control of that line, no question.”
Gadsby’s poignant words were followed by scattered applause from the audience.
To close her speech, the comedian brought the subject back to its root cause and applied it to other gender and racial biases: "I encourage you to also take the time to replace “man” with “straight” or “cis” or “able-bodied” or “neurotypical,” et cetera, et cetera", she said.
“If you have to believe someone else is bad in order to believe you are good, you are drawing a very dangerous line. In many ways, these lines in the sand we all draw are stories we tell ourselves so we can still believe we are good people.”