We've Got Hollywood Covered

Margaret Cho on How Comedy Helped Her Overcome the Pain of Being Raped ‘More Than 15 Times’

”This is a very healing thing. I meet fans after shows and people are just weeping,“ comedian tells TheWrap

Margaret Cho made headlines recently by revealing her own history of sexual assault, and she’s not stopping there. On her current “PsyCHO” tour, the comedian is telling jokes about rape — for the purpose of healing.

“The way that rape works is that survivors of rape are towed into silence by shame,” Cho told TheWrap as she discussed her new song and music video “I Want to Kill My Rapist.” “Shame of rape manifests itself into eating disorders, drug addiction, self destruction, depression… Even as a comedian, when you talk about rape, people get very, very upset. And that infuriates me. So I’m trying to find a way to create a space where people who are survivors can find a place to laugh about it.”

On her “PsyCHO” comedy tour, Cho gets into many topics that anger her, including racism and police brutality, but rape tops them all.

“I’ve been raped over the course of my life, probably more than 15 times,” she said. “To be able to share that in a way that is really murderous rage but also funny, I think that is a way to heal.”

Cho shared that the tour, which kicked off in October and wraps up this week in Los Angeles, has led to conversations about the sensitive issue, especially for fellow victims of sexual assault.

“In that breaking of the silence, even if it’s the silence within, it helps them,” she said. “I just hope that people can be healed by this alchemy that comedy is. Comedy can really turn tragedy into laughter, that’s an alchemy that’s not something I take lightly. It’s a gift that I have. It’s not something I say is mine, it’s just something I channel. This is a very healing thing. I meet fans after shows and people are just weeping, because this issue is being discussed so intimately. I’m proud of that. It’s  a new territory for comedy.”

The comedian also couldn’t help but take a shot at Bill Cosby, the other comedian whose name has become synonymous with rape over the past year. Currently, the 78-year-old “Cosby Show” star has been publicly accused of raping, drugging, coercing or sexually assaulting over 40 women since 1965.

“Comedians should now stop raping – that’s Bill Cosby — and comedians can now heal rape — that’s me,” she said sarcastically. “That’s what the show is about. It’s my trying to help the world. He’s shamed the name of comedy because he’s a rapist and now I’ve come to heal it because I’m a survivor. That’s what the show really is.”

Cho will next be seen on a new episode of ABC’s “Dr. Ken,” airing Friday. Stay tuned for more of TheWrap’s interview with the comedian.