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#1 Edited by EpicSteve (6483 posts) -

How seriously do you think comedians should be taken?

There was a Twitter storm to cancel Colbert's show after an arguably racist segment against Asians.

Bill Maher's old show, Politically Incorrect, was cancelled not long after 9/11 when Maher said the terrorists weren't cowards.

Colbert is a comedian and can kinda say whatever. There's freedom of speech. The public will dictate if they want to hear the message through ratings. I agree with Maher that is does take some balls to hijack a plane and crash it.

#2 Posted by erhard (399 posts) -

I don't care, but I don't really care about comedians either.

#3 Edited by spraynardtatum (2811 posts) -

I think they should have freedom of speech.

#4 Posted by SgtSphynx (1354 posts) -

I take a very George Carlin stance on political correctness and comedians. Comedians should be able to joke about anything, and I mean anything. Having said that though, they shouldn't be surprised when someone gets offended.

#5 Posted by Nodima (1164 posts) -

my contribution from the weekend

#CancelColbert because, as a white male, I'm tired of seeing Asians suffer through ching-chong jokes.

#6 Posted by Zeik (2362 posts) -

As long as they're not being a hateful biggot then comedians can kind of say whatever they want. Whether it's actually funny is a different matter, but excessive political correctness definitely stifles comedy.

Also god I hate twitter. Anybody who's first instinct for enacting social change is to rant about it on twitter can go fuck off a million times over.

#7 Posted by EthanielRain (810 posts) -

Just to be clear: it was a tweet from a comedian on a feed from a comedy show hosted on a comedy dedicated network/website? I personally would take that about 0% seriously.

#8 Posted by Animasta (14673 posts) -

If it's not controlled by the show then what's the big deal?

#9 Edited by ottoman673 (500 posts) -

#LeaveColbertAlone you overtly politically correct fucks.

He's a comedian, none of what he's saying is serious, in that instance. Not like he's pulling a Michael Richards

#10 Edited by beepmachine (618 posts) -

I think that comedy is and should be a bastion of free speech, where you can say anything you like even if it's outrageously offensive (often times because it's outrageously offensive).

The uproar over Colbert is absolutely absurd. He's a famous satirist, "in trouble" with the media for satire. What that video fails to mention, is that the origin of his tweet was him mocking the Washington Redskins for starting the "Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation." His tweet was a (in my opinion pretty damn funny) way to point out the paradoxical name and purpose of the Foundation. A foundation for Native Americans with a word many consider racist in the title. But because of general stupidity and ignorance, and terrible reporting, people just think he was being a racist ass. The whole thing just feels like the media desperately pouncing on anything that could potentially be a scandal.

#11 Posted by teaoverlord (174 posts) -

In general I don't like when comedians are offensive just to offend people (for example I can't stand Daniel Tosh). I also don't usually approve of racist jokes, but I don't think that's what Colbert did. His joke used a racist slur in order to satirize actual racism. This joke was taken out of context and posted on the show's Twitter account, and in that context it did seem offensive. I think people have the right to be offended, but it really seemed more like the whole #CancelColbert thing was an overreaction and an attempt at self-promotion. On the topic of Colbert, while I don't think this joke was racist, he does have a tendency to make shitty transphobic jokes that aren't satire, but instead use trans people as the butt of the joke.

As far as Bill Maher goes, I think the show's cancellation was more a product of the political climate at the time. His statement still wouldn't be popular today, but it probably wouldn't get his show canceled either.

#12 Posted by Jay_Ray (1078 posts) -

I think they should have freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is not the freedom from consequence of your speech. You should be able to say anything you want but if you say something belligerent others have the right to call you on it.

On topic, a comedian can and should make fun of anything they want. I won't find all of them funny, nor will I pay attention to the ones who don't humour me. In my experience only the great ones can walk the tightrope, trying to find the humour in some things is very difficult or maybe impossible. I thought I'd hate a non-black comedian that used the n-word but Louis C.K. was able to do it and that is why he is one of the best right now.

#13 Posted by Nodima (1164 posts) -

Just to be clear: it was a tweet from a comedian on a feed from a comedy show hosted on a comedy dedicated network/website? I personally would take that about 0% seriously.

It was a tweet from a social media staffer at the Comedy Central offices tasked with promoting the show through its official Twitter account by quoting a joke out of context in a sub-140 character tweet. Colbert himself uses the account StephenAtHome and doesn't see race; he accepts that he's white when people tell him because he has to defend himself against accusations of racism.

#14 Edited by MattyFTM (14368 posts) -

I have a very dark sense of humour and I can find extremely offensive jokes funny. But you have to know your audience. You tell the jokes to people who aren't going to take offense. Telling a joke with potential racist connotations on twitter was never a smart move. With added context, and on a late-night satire show, the joke would have blended in seamlessly and there would have been no issues. On twitter, with little context and the potential to be viewed by a much wider audience, it was a terrible idea to post it.

Moderator
#15 Edited by mosespippy (4113 posts) -

Comedians should be able to joke about anything. Not every joke is going to land. Most of the time their jokes are worked and worked over again to get the wording and timing right in order to be funny. The times when they don't come off as funny shouldn't be considered as anything serious.

#16 Posted by TurboMan (7503 posts) -

If Barack Obama came out and said some racist things towards Chinese people, then it would be a problem.

With a comedian, it's different. The problem I think is that most people would used to volunteer to witness this sort of humor by buying a ticket to a standup show or by changing their channel to Comedy Central and enjoying it for themselves. Nowadays we have Twitter, YouTube and Facebook where all of your friends can share whatever they want to and some of it might rub certain people the wrong way.

Should Comedy Central cancel Colbert? Hell No.

@nodima said:

I'm tired of seeing Asians suffer through ching-chong jokes.

You definitely have a point, but I think there's a bit of comedy in that his character (a more dumb/abrasive version of Bill O'Reilly) is stooping to that lower level of comedy, rather than a comedian coming up with a clever joke. I could be off, I never saw the segment it came from.

#17 Posted by Aetheldod (3552 posts) -

They are free to mock as they please ... granted when they do it intelligently is much better than the easy way out. But as also said sometimes some people will get offended , but those people should understand that the person was in his comedian facet , if in real life said person insults you directly then by all means get enraged ( I would too).

#18 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3228 posts) -

It's not arguably racist. It wasn't racist at all. He's pointing out how stupid the Redskins name is.

I believe comedians should be able to joke about whatever. Getting flak is part of the job. They should both expect and accept to get shit for what they say, but they should never be expected to change their tune.

#19 Edited by TheHT (11132 posts) -

Really? That's what the whole Colbert thing was about? Have they not seen the show?

#20 Edited by Shadow (4979 posts) -

This whole thing is stupid.

1. He makes fun of bigoted assholes by pretending to be one. That's his thing. How is this even slightly different from anything else he's done?

2. He isn't saying anything against Asians or trans people or whatever. He's making fun of the people who use groups like that as scapegoats to drive attention away from other issues

3. That wasn't even him. That was some writer who maintains that Twitter account

4. All of this is moot because any subject at all should, and is, open to comedic satire.

#21 Posted by XCEagle (112 posts) -

I think that comedy is and should be a bastion of free speech, where you can say anything you like even if it's outrageously offensive (often times because it's outrageously offensive).

The uproar over Colbert is absolutely absurd. He's a famous satirist, "in trouble" with the media for satire. What that video fails to mention, is that the origin of his tweet was him mocking the Washington Redskins for starting the "Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation." His tweet was a (in my opinion pretty damn funny) way to point out the paradoxical name and purpose of the Foundation. A foundation for Native Americans with a word many consider racist in the title. But because of general stupidity and ignorance, and terrible reporting, people just think he was being a racist ass. The whole thing just feels like the media desperately pouncing on anything that could potentially be a scandal.

Quoting this, because context is important.

The segment where Colbert covers the uproar, for those interested.

#22 Edited by Korwin (2846 posts) -

Comedy is one of the few avenues where sensitive topics can be aired and confronted in a safe setting. It does however take a certain deft touch to walk the line between comedy and just outright thinly veiled hate speech (even if that wasn't the intent). Colbert in this instance did nothing wrong, the whole thing was just blown out of proportion because people didn't have the proper context for the tweet (a tweet sent out from a company account, not one that Stephen has direct use of).

#23 Posted by Wolfgame (707 posts) -

Comedians get a pass because racism is cancelled out by satire.

#24 Edited by Zeik (2362 posts) -

@theht said:

Really? That's what the whole Colbert thing was about? Have they not seen the show?

It's Twitter, so probably not. I bet it got passed around the grapevine until someone saw it who didn't know the context and riled up a bunch of other people who had no idea what they were actually getting mad about. Mob mentality. So twitter in a nutshell really.

#25 Edited by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@nodima said:

my contribution from the weekend

#CancelColbert because, as a white male, I'm tired of seeing Asians suffer through ching-chong jokes.

Where do you live where everyone is running around telling "ching chong" jokes? I literally never heard anyone make a "ching chong" joke by any race of people.

#26 Posted by Vinny_Says (5700 posts) -

Freedom of Speech is extremely important. People (comedians) should be allowed to say what they want.

however....you can't just walk up to someone and say "I fucked yo bitch....freedom of speech!" and not expect to get your ass beat. Say what you want, but don't expect no repercussions.

#27 Posted by kidman (466 posts) -

If comedians are funny then they're successful, if they are not then, well... they bomb, regardless of the material, so let them have at it and see what they come up with. I don't care about PC, if it's funny, it's funny (revolutionary, I know).

#28 Posted by Milkman (16657 posts) -

If you're going to be offensive, you better be funny.

#29 Posted by shinjin977 (755 posts) -

Freedom of Speech is extremely important. People (comedians) should be allowed to say what they want.

however....you can't just walk up to someone and say "I fucked yo bitch....freedom of speech!" and not expect to get your ass beat. Say what you want, but don't expect no repercussions.

I may not be American but I agree with this. Also, people loves to take things waaaaay too seriously, even comedy(bad comedy or no).

#30 Posted by phantomzxro (1571 posts) -

@epicsteve: Colbert does not brother me so much because it does not seem rooted in anything hateful. But i can see how some people will take it the wrong way. I feel there is always a rolling of the dice when it comes to comedy. There is no rule book for what will work or what will not. So it always the double edge sword of comedy many comedians face. They will play it safe or try rolling that dice to see what happens.

Bill Maher Comment in question seems more of a debate than something that should be taken as pure comedy. Also what he said rubs me the wrong way. Going out of your way to kill civilians does not come across as brave to me.

#31 Edited by Nodima (1164 posts) -

@w1n5t0n said:

@nodima said:

my contribution from the weekend

#CancelColbert because, as a white male, I'm tired of seeing Asians suffer through ching-chong jokes.

Where do you live where everyone is running around telling "ching chong" jokes? I literally never heard anyone make a "ching chong" joke by any race of people.

I don't know why I'm surprised that people aren't taking that as a joke, considering I quoted my Twitter account out of context just like the Colbert Show quoted itself out of context (the joke, of course, is that most of the people I've seen expressing outrage at Stephen are neither Asian nor Native American and therefore their offense is entirely useless to me regardless of the whole missing the joke in the first place issue). But I do know why I'm surprised by your comment here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_chong

#32 Posted by tourgen (4465 posts) -

Let's talk about the real problem here. Twitter. And the people who use it.

#33 Posted by teaoverlord (174 posts) -

@tourgen said:

Let's talk about the real problem here. Twitter. And the people who use it.

Like the entire Giant Bomb staff?

#34 Edited by spraynardtatum (2811 posts) -

@jay_ray said:

@spraynardtatum said:

I think they should have freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is not the freedom from consequence of your speech. You should be able to say anything you want but if you say something belligerent others have the right to call you on it.

On topic, a comedian can and should make fun of anything they want. I won't find all of them funny, nor will I pay attention to the ones who don't humour me. In my experience only the great ones can walk the tightrope, trying to find the humour in some things is very difficult or maybe impossible. I thought I'd hate a non-black comedian that used the n-word but Louis C.K. was able to do it and that is why he is one of the best right now.

Like I said, freedom of speech. I understand that it goes both ways.

#35 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

Depends on the joke. I don't think the race of the comedian in question matters; but ultimately if anyone other than a black person made jokes like Richard Pryor the world would explode; that's what I don't like about political correctness (not to decry Richard Pryor, almost certainly the greatest stand-up comedian of all time).

#36 Edited by KentonClay (246 posts) -

The Colbert thing was pretty obvious satire. I feel a lot of people missed the context.

In general though, my stance is that if you're going to say things that are purposely offensive, you shouldn't fucking cry about it when someone gets offended (I swear if someone posts that fucking Steven Fry picture, I'll reach through the internet and slap them)

Most jokes that people get up in arms over are garbage, though. When Daniel Tosh made a "joke" about how funny it would be if this one lady in the audience got gang-raped, of COURSE people told him to go fuck himself. It's the comedy club equivalent of schoolyard bullying. It's not that he made a rape joke, it's that he made a pointless, downward-punching rape joke that had no purpose other than to be mean-spirited and "edgy." Louis CK has made rape jokes but people don't care because they're well thought out and actually convey something more than "Haha, rape is funny!"

A lot of people on the internet do this. They act "ironically" racist or sexist or whatever with no real satire or insight behind it, and then cry about political correctness when they're told to go fuck off.

#37 Posted by Ben_H (3341 posts) -

Depends entirely on the joke and context. For Colbert, the entire uproar about his joke was due to it being taken out of context, which was hugely important. In context to what he was discussing, his joke made sense. He was using his joke as satire to lambast a person running an organization with a racist name trying to make up for it by creating an organization with an equally sketchy name.

#38 Posted by pyromagnestir (4296 posts) -

The sketch was pointing out the Washington Redskins hypocrisy of refusing to change the team name, but hoping they could buy off Native Americans by giving a small amount of money to Native American charities in order to look better. He decided he'd try the same thing but with Chinese people instead of Native Americans. Soooooooooooooooooo of course most people who are unfamiliar with the show miss the point and jump all over Colbert pointing out someone clinging unnecessarily to insensitive stereotypes by using an obviously insensitive stereotype. Who didn't see that one coming?

Comedians should be able to attempt to make a joke about anything and everything.

#39 Posted by Demoskinos (14763 posts) -

Patrice O'Neal said it best.

#40 Posted by TheHT (11132 posts) -

@ben_h: I'm not gonna lie, even on it's own the "Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever" is pretty funny.

#41 Posted by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@nodima said:

@w1n5t0n said:

@nodima said:

my contribution from the weekend

#CancelColbert because, as a white male, I'm tired of seeing Asians suffer through ching-chong jokes.

Where do you live where everyone is running around telling "ching chong" jokes? I literally never heard anyone make a "ching chong" joke by any race of people.

I don't know why I'm surprised that people aren't taking that as a joke, considering I quoted my Twitter account out of context just like the Colbert Show quoted itself out of context (the joke, of course, is that most of the people I've seen expressing outrage at Stephen are neither Asian nor Native American and therefore their offense is entirely useless to me regardless of the whole missing the joke in the first place issue). But I do know why I'm surprised by your comment here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_chong

#Cancel nodima, I demand it!

#42 Posted by Itwongo (1180 posts) -

I think you can make a joke out of anything. I also think you should be considerate about what other people around you are comfortable with when you do it.

#43 Edited by Sterling (2156 posts) -

People disgust me.

#44 Edited by Krullban (1034 posts) -

I find it absolutely hilarious that people are angry at Colbert and the actual racist thing he was satirizing is going ignored. Also that girl that started it, that interview she did with Huffington post was a trainwreck. She was super racist and ignorant during that entire interview.

#45 Posted by slyspider (1203 posts) -

Until a comedian incites violence with some speech, its still covered by free speech. Everyone says shitty things about everyone else deal with it. Its also stupid to get mad a satirist for a comment.

#46 Edited by Pontron (20 posts) -

When you take into account Colbert's persona, its something that his character would say. I think political correctectness is too stressed nowadays. I dont care who you are, you've probably said something of similar demeanor in some way of another. It doesn't really matter what race/sexual orientation you are, you probably have just sitting on the couch with your buddies. Political correctness has pretty much come to a loud group of people who aren't actually offended who want to complain about something.

There is a huge line between this and hate speech. Hate speech shouldn't be tolerated to any extent. As long as its not hateful, people just need to shut up,

#47 Posted by l4wd0g (1935 posts) -

this is how I feel.

#48 Posted by l4wd0g (1935 posts) -

if you Google "Penn & Teller: Bullshit - Season 6 - Ep 66: Sensitivity Training" it's a great episode and I think totally applies. I'd post the link to the full episode on YouTube, but there might be nudity.

#49 Posted by Brodehouse (9859 posts) -

Racial humor intended to be funny due to the absurd racism contained within are not themselves racist jokes.

In the way that gallows humor is not pro-death, racial humor is not pro-racism, and so on. If the joke amounts to "isn't it funny how terrible that is" then it is satire. This is not to say that it is impossible to be racist and tell a joke, but it's the context of the statement that makes it racist or not, not that it includes racial stereotypes within it. And certainly not because it includes "bad words".

#50 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I wonder if anybody has explained the full context of the scandal yet.