Recently, I commented on the censorship of artistic works from previous generations. Mostly it was geared towards disclaimers slapped on TV programming from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that is now considered offensive.
Family-friendly game shows and sitcoms are suddenly problematic in the snowflake generation. A joke about a woman’s appearance or a reference to an ethnicity is simply uncalled for — it’s downright disgusting. At least that’s how society tells us we should feel. Alas, there is a quiet majority that respectfully disagrees.
“When I grew up all I heard was jokes about Polish people,” wrote Ed. “The joke was that Polacks were stupid. It didn’t bother me, it was something you heard growing up. I’m not scarred from people making fun of my culture. I didn’t take it seriously. It’s out of hand these days what people are bothered by.”
Partner that with the whole “cancel culture” phenomenon and it’s a recipe for disaster.
“(In your column) you talked about game shows referencing a woman’s breasts as boobs and that was entirely OK back then,” wrote Morgan. “It was both sexes laughing and joking about it. There was nothing threatening because nobody took it seriously. Everybody was in on the joke. Now everything is too serious.”
There’s also a double standard about who can say what and get away with it, noted Melanie.
“On The View and The Social the panels of women dish about sexy men and show pictures of muscular bodies and gush about them,” wrote Melanie. “They objectify them to their female audiences and that’s OK. Imagine a panel of men showing a woman in a bikini and commenting on her body. They’d be castrated on social media before the show ends.”
So, what is acceptable these days? Eleanor said it’s something far worse than euphemisms for body parts.
“Now you have people making a living off creating porn and exploiting their body,” wrote Eleanor. “It is perfectly acceptable to have sex with strangers on camera and get paid for it but heaven help us if there was an off-colour joke on a TV show 30 years ago. You are right, people should not be focused on the past, they should be worried about how people act and teach the next generations to behave. Not something trivial from a comedic game show in the 1970s that teenagers aren’t watching anyway.”
While nobody who responded to my column condoned hate speech or abusive behaviour, it’s refreshing to see there are still people — however quiet or anonymous they might be — who aren’t offended by views and opinions from generations ago.