Seriously, D.L. Hughley, You’re Telling Columbus Short’s Wife to Shut Up?

Everyone’s innocent until proved guilty, but mocking a woman for reporting domestic abuse isn’t helping anyone.

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Sanders, the lone woman on Hughley’s show, reminded him that there were witnesses to the couple’s domestic dispute, which included Short’s own personal assistant, but Hughley brushed off Sanders’ words, saying, “Then his assistant is a chick.” I guess, in his mind, only women should speak out against domestic violence.

The conversation devolved from there. Hughley asserted that McCall-Short should have just filed for divorce under irreconcilable differences instead of “running her mouth” and possibly getting Short kicked off the show (a prediction that came true last week). Then he went on to suggest that he'd have doubts about any story involving an actor on a hit show who “chokes the f--k out of his wife,” but if it happened, McCall-Short was just being “melodramatic.”

“Women always running out the mouth when they shouldn’t,” Hughley surmised.

Yes, exactly, D.L. Like when your drunk, enraged husband apparently has a knife to your throat. Wrong time.

The comedian, who once said that black women were the angriest women in the world, went on to downplay the seriousness of the issue and blame McCall-Short for her husband’s alleged behavior:

When you’re very young, you’re very volatile. I’ve been in situations where the police were called. I don’t believe that every time someone says something in the heat of anger, they actually mean it. Everybody want a thug dude, a passionate dude, until you gotta live with your mother in an undisclosed location. You know what kind of dude you picked. Stop it.

The whole rant was bizarre, offensive and problematic. Hughley’s off-base, caveman comments are the exact reason so many women stay silent about domestic abuse and end up being victimized by their partners—including, yep, even the famous ones. Everyone’s innocent until proved guilty, and that goes for Columbus Short, too. But Hughley mocking McCall-Short for reporting domestic abuse isn’t helping anyone.

He might be a comedian, but this is no laughing matter.

Britni Danielle is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and novelist. She has covered pop culture, politics and race for outlets such as Essence, Jet and Clutch. Follow her on Twitter.