In the past few years, conservatives and moderates have argued the media has become “too PC” and will often poke fun at people for being “triggered.” But, whenever a publication comes out with an article attacking the newest “edgy” comedian’s Netflix special, these same people who chastise others for being too weak-willed attempt to defend their multi-millionaire comedy hero with a similar fervor against a journalist with a meek social media following.
Many will say people should learn how to “take a joke” when they get offended. However studies have shown that edgy humor can be very hurtful. One study from Western Carolina University shows that these jokes are indicative of pre-existing prejudice beliefs, while another study the University of Kent conducted found that exposure to sexist humor can decrease male perceptions of the seriousness of rape, and makes light of the issue.
While it may be excessive to blame edgy humor as the sole reasoning behind people’s narrow worldviews and comedians do have the right to make this content, they should be aware of some of the effects of it and expect criticism.
Coming from someone who likes to make comedic content in his free time, I can tell you that stereotypes are some of the laziest jokes one can make, and almost every “edgy” take on trans people, black people, gay people, etc. are outplayed and not funny.
While controversial topics and edgy humor may hold comedic value because of shock, jokes about people identifying as an attack helicopter, poking fun at how Chinese people talk, or making fun of trans people’s genders are tired and just lazy at this point.
While everyone is trying to be this comedian who says what other people are too afraid to say, it ignores the overall point of their art in the first place.
Edgy humor has a place in the world of comedy, but it is ridiculous to claim that they are “just joking,” especially when they attack an already underrepresented group of people. Times are changing and political correctness should be embraced instead of attacked. People should try harder to come up with jokes that do not rely on outdated stereotypes.