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Is political correctness killing comedy?

Throwback to the past, the period that people were able to do anything that they fancy. The only condition to consider was the law, if someone desires to do something all they need to consider whether to do it or not is just “Is it illegal to do this?” and if it is not people are committed to doing that. People can make fun of someone’s body, their appearance, or even joke about their sexuality without thinking and not being responsible. Brings about how sometimes the victims of bullying get used to it and think it is remorseless to be made fun of.

 In these days and ages, people are not able to do that anymore. People’s thoughts and actions have changed along with the changing time they need to be aware of their words and their actions in daily life in ways we rarely notice. Not only in the ways of racism but also sometimes we just live our ordinary life and post something on social media and you think it is totally fine for you and your community or consider it as your personal space. However, if it does not satisfy someone or it affects someone who sees it we can be blamed anytime.

With all the cultural development people started to be aware of everything in their lives along with the development of technologies that emerge to facilitate people’s lives. Someone who has never met a real person can see each other through the media. More people you can reach in your life, the more problems you are going to encounter. These reasons and the diversity satisfaction make us conscious before posting or exhibiting something. And the culture that made us start to be aware of our actions is the culture called “Political correctness”, the culture that slowly infiltrates society unconsciously.

Even common people still got affected by this culture, let alone the laugh maker like the comedians. In the comedy industry, we can easily see that the comedian fully got attacked from the political correctness culture. When they cannot joke about everything without moderation anymore. The situation where they cannot say anything freely leads to the state that many comedians say “Political correctness is killing comedy.” Do you agree with this statement or not? Let’s know more about it.

What is Political Correctness

Political correctness can be demonstrated as a term that is used to refer to language that seems intended to give the least amount of offense, especially when describing groups identified by external markers such as race, gender, culture, or sexual orientation. The avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. We might have heard somebody calling someone “fatty” or making fun of someone who has dark skin. PC culture is the culture that against those words and action

How Does Political Correctness relate to Comedy?

Someone said, “funny always comes with an inferior feeling”. Comedians making fun of someone’s appearance to make them feel inferior have become a common joke that we have seen in the comedy industry for a long time, especially in Thailand. The comedian’s joke about shape, figure, skin tones, sex identity, or disability for the mass audience to laugh happily that they do not have to face those things. Comedian is making fun of someone for something different, so the audience can laugh with the luckily feeling that they are not like that. So basically, bullying is always the selling point of comedy. However, in today’s world the changing of the period along with the political correctness trend that started to become popular. Various communities started to demand equality and to respect the differences. These jokes are one of the requirements that some people think should disappear. People started to raise awareness about acceptance of differences and stop making fun of them. While we were laughing at someone who had been making fun of their dissimilar, what If we are the ones who got those dissimilar also do we still be able to laugh or think it is funny?

How does Political Correctness affect comedy?

Some might think that the racist joke is just a joke and does not harm anyone. These groups of people think that blocking racist jokes will lead to censorship and destroy free speech. However, the researcher mentioned that humiliating jokes are the reflection of the bias that is still around in society. The first research mentioned that listening to the jokes about raping makes men think that raping is not cruel. Second research demonstrated that women will be more concerned about their bodies after hearing the appearance jokes. So, the comedy industry needs to adapt its jokes to get along with PC culture. The comments that we often see when political correctness is brought up to the topic would be “So what can we joke on?” or “So we cannot joke anymore?” The ones who are affected by the PC culture would exactly be the comedian. When it comes to the comedian’s need to be more careful leads to some comedians speaking up that PC culture kills comedy. Some comedians said that political correctness culture makes society too  “overly sensitive” with almost no jokes that they can use for the show. Some think that the political correctness culture kills the comedy industry however others might not think so.

Steve Harvey

The comedian who thinks political correctness is killing comedy

Let’s hear from the famous comedian “Steve Harvey.” He agrees with the statement  “Political correctness is killing comedy.” 

Political correctness has killed comedy. Every joke you tell now hurts somebody’s feelings. But what people don’t understand about comedians is that a joke has to be about something. It has to be about somebody. We can’t write jokes about puppies all the time. The joke can’t be about bushes all the time. Some of these jokes will have to be about people because that’s the most interesting topic. So if I come back, I’ll have to wait until I’m done. And I’m not done. I want to do one more. I’ll probably have to call it ‘This Is It’, said Steve Harvey.

Comedians who support political correctness 

Sophie Hagen

Sofie Hagen, British Comedian believes that the comedian career can continue with Political correctness culture. She believes that comedians can make any topic funny by not offending others.

 Moreover, she is extremely serious about political correctness. She always hires a collator to correct her jokes before shows.

tap here to see the video of Paul F. Tompkins

Paul F. Tompkins actor and comedian believes that Political Correctness Doesn’t Censor, It Keeps Comedy Fresh. 

You can make jokes about anything but you have to accept that there will be people who do not like it and they are completely within your rights just as you are completely within your rights to say whatever you want to say. They are within their rights to react how they are going to react. Audiences are not telling that you cannot joke about this, what they are saying is that it was not funny.”

“Taste changes over the years and so topics that were routinely joked about years ago that might affect certain people may be something that happened to someone and we throw words around because it is a shocking punchline. It is good for a laugh but is it worth it?

“Over time people who are tired of being ashamed because things happened to them, they vote with their silence or they say that is not funny I think that comedians have to recognize that humor evolves and times change and you cannot stay stuck in the same place for too long because then you are irrelevant and so it is very easy to say oh people are too uptight now but, the fact of the matter is these people are the people of today and you might be a person of yesterday. If you cannot adjust and you cannot be in tune with what people think is funny anymore.

Political correctness is making comedy better

 Political correctness in comedy is not about being overly sensitive, it is simply about growing and adapting to what the audience will accept, and figuring out how to be funny within those parameters. Political Correct depends on the intention and the context. The goal as a comedian is to make people happy, not to hurt someone’s feelings. Complaints against PC culture tend to come from comedians who had it easy for a long time, and who are too lazy or untalented to progress their comedy along with society. Finally, the question “Is political correctness killing comedy?” cannot be concluded. Good or bad is not universal,  both sides can be defended with their reasons and those reasons all make sense and we see the intention hidden in both ways. However, for comedians to live in today’s world they need to adapt the comedy to go along with PC culture with the belief that Political correctness is making comedy better. 

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