Dina Hashem said in an Instagram post that a joke she made at the expense of deceased rapper XXXTentacion has resulted in her receiving death threats. In an appearance for Comedy Central at the Comedy Cellar in New York City, Hashem joked that the rapper’s shooting death could have been used as an ad for Venmo, the digital money transferring service.
On June 18, 2018, XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, was shot dead at the age of 20 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Authorities allege that the rapper was the victim of a robbery that went wrong. The suspects made off with $50,000 in a Louis Vuitton bag. The four suspects in the crime are awaiting trial. XXXTentacion was shot dead outside of a motorcycle dealership.
In a tweet promoting Hashem’s controversial bit, Comedy Central’s official account tweeted, “The death of rapper XXXTentacion was very sad, but @dinahashem_ thinks we can take something away from it. This Week at the Comedy Cellar’s new TONIGHT at 11/10c.” At the time of writing, the video remains on Comedy Central’s account.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hashem Wrote in a Deleted Message: ‘1 Dumb Joke About XXXTentacion Is Not an Atrocity’
Hashem wrote in a now-deleted Instagram message after the joke spread online:
RE: death threats regarding XXX joke
It was not intended to hurt any feelings or mock his death, which itself is tragic. But for those of you painting me as a villain and him an innocent martyr, it’s worth noting he was on trial at the time of his death for beating up his pregnant girlfriend.
That doe NOT mean it’s ok he was killed, but one dumb joke about is not an atrocity.
Also, I’m Arab so please correct your “dumb white c***” DMs accordingly. More importantly I’m a comedian, and incidentally, my own father beat up my pregnant mother and I never wished death on even him, but jokes seem like fair game.”
Since the publication of this article, Hashem has set her Instagram page and Twitter page to private. In the bio section of both of those pages, Hashem simply writes, “minor threat.”
2. Hashem’s Style Is Described as ‘Subdued Delivery With Dark Observations’
According to Hashem’s official website, she is a stand-up comedian who based in New York City. On her website, Hashem’s style is referred to as “a subdued delivery with dark observations about her life and Islamic upbringing.” During her career, Hashem has appeared on “Conan,” TBS’s “Comics to Watch, and “Night Train with Wyatt Cenac” and appeared at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
3. Hashem’s First Stab at Comedy Was the 2010 New Jersey Comedy Festival, Which She Ended Up Winning
Hashem said she first tried comedy while a student at Rutgers University where she competed in the 2010 New Jersey Comedy Festival. Hashem won first prize in the competition, according to her official website.
Hashem told Forbes about this experience in January 2019 saying, “My first time on stage, I was auditioning for this thing in front of 200 people in the auditorium and I just did really well… a few months later I went into the final round and I ended up winning the whole thing. Winning that competition was the most money I made doing standup for the next seven years.”
4. Hashem Has Worked on the Art Department of Numerous Movies & TV Shows
According to Hashem’s IMDb page, she has worked on numerous TV shows and movies as a productions assistant and in the art department. Hashem has worked on numerous episodes of Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Broad City.” In addition, Hashem worked on HBO’s “The Deuce” and the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie, “Sisters” and Pierce Brosnan’s “Urge.”
5. Hashem Has Said That it Is Her Goal to Write for Her Own Show
Hashem said in a 2014 interview that her goal in comedy was to eventually write for her own show. Hashem said, “That’s my ideal goal, to write a really funny show. But performing, I mean it’s like whatever I can get. If I have the chance to perform nationally, internationally, whatever. I just want to be funny and have people enjoy my point of view, whether that be through standup or writing a show.” Hashem added that she would love for her show to be a mixture of live-action and standup.
In the same interview, Hashem was asked about how to salvage a bad show to which she responded, “It’s really hard to do. There are few comics that can do that really well, I mean that’s the whole game of it. When you first start doing stand up, you’re supposed to do these terrible open mics because that’s where you learn to handle these situations. Bomb your first few years basically. So like I started out at this place Piano’s in Bloomfield. It was just a rowdy sports bar, I mean no one wanted you to be there. So if you could turn that room around you’re golden, you can handle a comedy club crowd that’s there to see you. But in terms of being able to do it, it’s hard, if they’re being hostile and just not interested in you… It’s a choice. You can call attention to the fact that you’re bombing and do crowd work, usually, I’ll resort to talking to people and trying to make them laugh, just by making fun of them or getting to know them.”
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