Comedy Central’s Broad City is a stoned lady-bacchanal through the streets of New York City. Its surreal, unapologetically feminist brand of humor is perfectly embodied in a very meta, very sharp Bill Cosby reference that you might very well have missed on Wednesday’s episode.
Lincoln (Hannibal Buress) confesses that he hooked up with someone else, which sends Ilana (Ilana Glazer) into a dirt-throwing, tree-climbing fit of what appears to be jealousy, but turns out to be arousal. It’s cool—after all, they’re “open sex friends.”
In fact, Ilana suggests they “trick” Lincoln’s new sexual partner into having a threesome with them, but he’s not interested: “People really shouldn’t trick other people into having sex.”
“Whoa,” Ilana says. “I’ve heard so many women say that, but when you say it, I really hear it.”
The real-life Hannibal Buress is a stand-up comic perhaps best known for an October 2014 performance in which he called out the long history of rape accusations leveled against Bill Cosby. Footage of Buress’ routine soon went viral, setting in motion the then-beloved comedian’s dramatic downfall and emboldening dozens more women to come forward with stories of sexual abuse and drugging by Cosby.
There’s a painful irony at work here, in that, 10 years before, 13 women accused Cosby of rape as witnesses in Temple University employee Andrea Constand’s own lawsuit against the man (which was settled out of court in 2006). Some of these “Jane Does,” like Tamara Green, even revealed their identities, but they were all virtually ignored and dismissed by the public. Why did it take a male voice to get us all to pay attention?
In the words of Abbi (Abbi Jacobson)—or, more accurately, in the words of Abbi doing an impression of Ilana: “Rape culture sucks. Recognize.”