The audience files out of the theater. What was supposed to be a big hit comedy has flopped. “Oh my God, Becky, did you see how offensive that scene in the gym was?” says a woke girl. Later, they proceed to bash the movie on Twitter to warn people of all of the microaggressions and triggers that made them cringe.

It’s 2018, and comedy is dying. Millennials and Generation Z embrace the progressive values of equality and acceptance at the expense of censorship of the arts. In the last decade, younger people have launched a blind crusade to take out all they deem as offensive.

I’m not saying that everyone who degrades and belittles whole sects of society are right. People who use thin veils such as comedy to justify their hatreds shouldn’t be propped up. However, what I am saying, is that society can still learn from works they don’t agree with if they look past the superficial “but that’s offensive”.

Earlier in the year, Comedian Amy Schumer was struck down as highly offensive and insensitive in her movie I Feel Pretty (2018). Outrage spread across the twitter universe because Amy Schumer, a blond white woman, played the role of someone who saw themselves as fat and ugly. In the movie, she comes to the realization that it doesn’t matter what she looks like, the biggest contributor to her being successful is her self confidence.

Twitter completely overlooked the message the film was trying to send, and before the movie even came out they disregarded it because they saw Amy as neither fat nor ugly. The movie took a big hit in the box office as a result.

This theme is further pushed by Comedy Central’s biggest show, South Park. The show rose to fame by starring a group of four 4th graders who are highly crude, with the openly racist, homophobic, and antisemitic Eric Cartman being the most memorable character on the show. For their latest season, they have been running the ad campaign of #CancelSouthPark, mocking PC leftists who can’t stand the show.

They acknowledge the outrage their show tends to draw with its unorthodox humor. What the show also does is highlight key issues society faces. A perfect example of this is when they ran the episode “The Death Camp of Tolerance” on November 20th, 2002.

In it, the children’s teacher Mr. Garrison tries his hardest to get fired for being gay, going as far as shoving the class pet hamster up Mr. Slave’s ass. Yet, when the children complain their parents are outraged by their supposed intolerance and send them to South Park’s modern rendition of a concentration camp: Tolerance Camp. They weren’t poking fun at the Holocaust with this episode, rather they were highlighting the dangers of the PC campaign and how overt tolerance can be just as awful as intolerance.

Comedy is an outlet of sending messages and forcing people to truly reflect on themselves. If we as a society continue down this path to dismantle comedy the censorship would be equivalent to that of a dictatorship. Are we really going to let the Chains of Tolerance kill our independent thoughts and enslave us to uniformity?

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Armin Delic

3 thoughts on “Killing Comedy

  1. It’s true that comedy and the perception of comedy has changed in recent generations in an effort to be more politically correct, however, I don’t think that Amy Schumer is a comedian who has failed as a result of the “woke” media, perhaps she’s just not funny. As a comedian, you can make whatever jokes you want, but it’s not the responsibility of the audience to laugh if the jokes don’t land. Honestly, did you watch Amy Schumer’s movie and laugh? The South Park episode is satire, it portrays an extreme reality, I don’t think that the episode is meant to serve as a warning for the dangers of “wokeness.” People not laughing at bad jokes is not a precursor of our society descending into a dictatorship. I agree that political sensitivities around comedy have become extreme in some senses, but comedy is completely subjective.

  2. Are the new generations more PC than the previous generations? Absolutely, but I don’t think that it’s as big of a problem as a lot of people that share your opinion think it is. In the same way that people are allowed to make offensive jokes for the sake of comedy, others are allowed to dislike things they find offensive. Of course, there are situations like the “I Feel Pretty” reaction in which people can completely miss the point of comedies, but in other circumstances, just because something is intolerant in a “funny way,” doesn’t mean everyone gonna laugh at it.

  3. Hello Armin!
    Although I definitely agree that there are some instances where comedians or shows can cross the line with jokes and what they believe will be humorous for others, I also believe that not everything should be taken to heart. Some things are read with great detail and it feels as if people are reading in between lines that aren’t there. Again, I understand that this is not always the case, and people have a right to be offended at whatever offends them, but if we keep going pace, we will not have much to talk about or bring up in comedy shows/movies.

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