Food Network host Josh Denny is currently under fire online for comparing the phrase “straight white male” to the N-word, as well as using the racial slur itself in past tweets, but he’s not backing down.
The Ginormous Food host appeared on TMZ reporter Van Lathan’s The Red Pill podcast this week, where he discussed the controversy that erupted after his initial Tweet on Friday. As Denny, a Ridley Park native, told Lathan, he has received death threats as a result of the comparison, as well as plenty of criticism online. He did not issue an apology.
“I take responsibility for it,” Denny said. “I said those things.”
“‘Straight White Male’ has become this century’s N-Word. It’s used to offend and diminish the recipient based on assumption and bias,” Denny Tweeted last week. “No difference in the usage.”
Following his tweet, Twitter users dug into Denny’s past tweets going back to 2012, and found several instances of the host using the N-word, as well as mocking Asian women. Denny explained those instances as “dark jokes” on The Red Pill, saying that enjoying dark humor is not “indicative of a deeper evil.”
Denny also used the N-word in his appearance on the podcast this week, prompting Lathan to ask him to not use the word. In total, Denny used the word four times, even after Lathan asked him to stop.
“It’s in the joke. I’m quoting the joke,” Denny said. Lathan, meanwhile, called Denny’s use of the N-word “unbelievably telling.”
Prior to his appearance on The Red Pill, Denny tweeted the “healthy debate and dialogue” his statements prompted. He added that his action come “from a place of wanting us to be better to each other.”
Comedy club promoters, however, don’t seem to agree. As Denny posted over the weekend, Santa Monica’s Westside Comedy Theatre recently canceled a monthly show as a result of the controversy. He had hosted the show there every month for four years.
“Not surprisingly today, the venue owners called me to say that the show is done, and I’m not welcome at the club — based on their desire to be ‘inclusive,’” Denny wrote. “But as the internet is teaching us, with people like Owen Benjamin,Steven Crowder, Ben Shapiro, and Jordan Peterson — that doesn’t include ‘diversity’ in ideas or thought.”
Food Network has not yet commented on the incident. However, the most recent season of Ginormous Food aired last fall, and Denny indicated on Twitter that he hasn’t worked for the network for “almost a year.” He is still featured on the Food Network website, and includes Food Network references in his Twitter bio.
Ginormous Food brought Denny back to Philadelphia in 2016, when he and the show’s crew came to town to film segments at Spread Bagelry, the Trolley Car Diner, and Jake’s Sandwich board.