Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Not Funny At All, Tracy Morgan

Comedian Tracy Morgan is in trouble again over his stand-up routine.

On the heels on his June 3rd show, in which he made several crude and negative remarks about homosexuals (including that he’d “stab” his son if he turned out to be gay”), Tracy Morgan's Saturday night show included remarks about “retards” and a “cripple” that he’d once dated.

Surprising Support for Tracy Morgan

The comments on this story, if you have time to go through some of them, are fascinating. I looked at the first 50, just to see peoples’ reactions to the story. I was surprised to see so many that felt that Morgan coming under fire for his comments about homosexuals, and now the comments on people with disabilities, is the sign of a PC culture gone mad. The term “First Amendment rights” was mentioned frequently. People wondered why these groups can’t take a joke, about what comedy is going to have for material if groups keep getting offended by every little joke about them, and say that if you don’t like Morgan’s humour, don’t go to his shows.

Well, if I ever did have a desire to go to one of Tracy Morgan’s shows, it’s gone now. And I don’t offend easily when it comes to comedy. My sense of humour is pretty dark, and I’m the first to laugh at a good joke about my disabilities or at disabilities or general.
Notice I said a *good* joke. There are witty, well-written, well-executed jokes…and then some that aren’t so much any of those things, but still funny…and then some jokes that are none of those things, and cruel to boot. The jokes that Morgan made fall in the last category, and it’s really disappointing to see that so many people consider them “humour”.

However, Comedians Should be Equal Opportunity Offenders

I did find one comment particularly interesting, though. One woman believed that Morgan shouldn’t have made the remark he did about people with disabilities, especially children, because they are “innocent” and have enough challenges to live with (as opposed to the intrinsically not-innocent children without disabilities that face no challenges, I guess). I don’t like this line of thinking. It’s amazing to me that the stereotypes about people with disabilities show up even in discussions of whether or not it’s “okay” for comedians to make offensive jokes about them. I’m not prepared to give Tracy Morgan kudos for declaring them “joke material” and treating them just like everyone else, though; I doubt he had that agenda in mind with his comment about “retards”.

If you happen to be one of the people who commented, on that article or on others or in your day-to-day conversations, that Tracy Morgan was inappropriate and needs to apologize for his most recent comments…thank you. I think that sometimes media figures forget just how powerful their ability to shape peoples’ perceptions are.

Sorry, Tracy. I used to be a fan, but I won’t be tuning in to “30 Rock” anymore.

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