Comedian Ed Helms had harsh words for Rolling Stone magazine Friday.
Speaking at a valediction ceremony at the University of Virginia, Helms, who has starred in “The Office” and “The Hangover,” slammed the magazine for its now-retracted article “A Rape on Campus.”
“It has been said that a rolling stone gathers no moss. I would add that sometimes a rolling stone also gathers no verifiable facts or even the tiniest morsels of journalistic integrity,” Helms told the audience.
In “A Rape on Campus,” author Sabrina Rubin Erdely reported the story of a student named Jackie who claimed she was gang-raped by members of a fraternity on UVA’s campus. But after the bombshell report, it came to light that Jackie lied about the attack and that Erdely and Rolling Stone editors failed to properly vet the story.
Both Erdely and Rolling Stone are now the subject of a $7.5 million lawsuit filed last week by UVA assistant dean Nicole Eramo. Eramo was portrayed in the article as unsympathetic to Jackie’s rape claims, though investigators have since provided evidence that the administrator went to great lengths to help Jackie. (RELATED: UVA Dean Suing Rolling Stone)
“Rolling Stone tried to define you this year,” Helms continued. “As a result, not only was this community thrown deep into turmoil, but the incredibly important struggle to address sexual violence on campuses nationwide was suddenly more confusing than ever and needlessly set back.”
“This community didn’t fall for the fallacy that just because Rolling Stone was wrong everything here must be perfectly peachy. You all had the courage to understand you can be outraged at Rolling Stone and still ask yourselves hard questions: if sexual violence does occur in our community, do we have the best possible protocols and resources available to our students? And UVA is charging forward to answer those questions and you should be proud of that.”