Date of Award

May 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies

First Advisor

Xiaoxia Cao

Committee Members

David Allen, Richard Popp


This thesis explores standup comedian podcaster reactions to the #MeToo Movement (2017-2020). The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is used as a database to explore commentary on #MeToo from 12 standup comedian podcasters (SCPs). The exploration seeks to answer if and how SCPs represent a dominant social group using discourse to pushback against, accept, or, at the least, critically reflect on the #MeToo movement as it relates to appropriate sexual conduct and appropriate reactions to inappropriate sexual conduct. With the understanding that frames provide schema for making sense of issues, a rhetorical framing analysis was conducted to looked at how standup comedian podcasters used rhetoric and techniques of argumentation which—through repetition and pattern—ultimately culminated in frames for understanding #MeToo. Three subthemes of SCP discourse (discussions on the accused, on the accuser, and on public reaction) and eight frames were found, all centering around the central SCP theme of whether or not #MeToo went ‘too far’ as a social movement. The combination of frames mostly represent a discursive backlash to #MeToo’s calls for action to listen, reflect and contribute to change (Flood, 2019). These frames are summarized and then positioned within a discussion of media influence and effects, leading to a conclusion that discursive backlash to #MeToo from standup comedian podcasters may have led to similar resistance among their overwhelmingly young adult male audiences.