Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are urging fellow humorists not to exclude anyone from derision, calling such a decision a “form of bullying.”
Key and Peele recently addressed the issue on their eponymous TV show with a sketch called “insult comic,” where a wheelchair-bound burn victim urges a stand-up comic to make fun of him, claiming he can “take it.”
“But can we, as a society, take it anymore?” the comedians ask.
They go on to state that popular TV shows of yesteryear like "All in the Family" and "Good Times" would probably never see the light of day. Nor would classic comedies like "Blazing Saddles" or "Silver Streak."
“Somewhere along the line, we’ve forgotten the true purpose of humor: to help people cope with the fears and horrors of the world,” the comedians wrote.
The comedians say that by not making fun of certain groups, it implies that members of the group aren’t “capable of self-reflection” or “don’t possess the mental faculties to recognize the nuances of satire.”
It seems these days that those looking for 15 minutes of fame need look no further than an outrage over some trivial joke. If you’re offended easily, you can get on camera and express your outrage. Meanwhile, the millions who laugh at or ignore the joke must be told they should be outraged as well, or feel bad that they’re not.