Controversial Jokes are Under Fire
By: Jerry Wang
Recent years have found comedians who tell more offensive jokes to be under question. All over the world, people are taken aback since the jokes often go against what they believe and accept.
Stand-up comedians telling derogatory and controversial jokes has been a regular occurrence for a long time. This is due to comedic effect being the strongest when they contradict popular opinions. In the past, Black comedians were a prime example. They would lightheartedly joke of oppressive acts that often took place during the time. The predominantly white audience would come to see the blacks act like fools.
While the audience had no good intentions, they genuinely found the jokes hilarious. This created a situation where, as Diaz, the director of “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution" described it, "[had] society restrictions and then you [had] the audience who may have been a little bit more liberal, but they were still pretty much also constrained by what society dictated."
To this day, comedians have been placed in this middle ground of making jokes that would go against popular thoughts and those that would follow it.
Now, with the internet, comedian's reputation becomes more erratic and content spreads faster which provides an incentive to adhere with undisputed ideas. However, some comedians remain unfazed by these changes. One comedian said that "[i]f you’re comfortable, we’re not doing our jobs.”
In the end, this topic, like many others, has no correct answer. The co-director of “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution" said that even if they get canceled after one episode, "[a]t least it was authentically what [the comedian] wanted to do."