In a seven-minute Penn Says video (also available on YouTube), Jillette notes that murder has been a central point of entertainment throughout history, pointing out that many Shakespearean plays feature violence and death, and questions why rape, while a horrible crime, would be the focus of such an uproar while killing is barely worth a PG13 rating. He makes an even more interesting argument when he suggests that blaming and banning the game as a catalyst for rape would “normalize sexual violence” more than the game itself.
“I think that blaming a video game for rape is normalizing violent sexual behavior. What that says is that we are all rapists and that rape is just under the surface of us and all we need is a video game to just push us a little way,” he says in the video. “What blaming the video game does is it shows compassion for the rapist. It shows understanding. At some level, in some small amount, it says, ‘It’s not really the rapist’s fault; it’s society’s fault for putting this stuff out here’.”
While best known as the big, talking half of the Penn & Teller comedy magic team, Jillette is also an outspoken atheist and libertarian, views that regularly come to the fore in the duo’s Showtime documentary series Penn & Teller: Bulls–t!