This week for Zach on Film the hosts discuss the idea of offensive humor from the likes of Adam Sandler all the way to the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo.

Actors walk off Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six set

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About Author

Zach is a recent college graduate who’s love for consuming media is surpassed only by his love for creating it. He has a firm belief that if we could all just play with LEGOs for 30 minutes a day the world would be a better place. If those two statements don’t tell you everything you need to know about Zach, follow him on Twitter at @zwoolf.


  1. Malone_hasco on

    I think nothing should be above humor and everything can and should be subjected to it. Censorship is the ultimate form of regressive and reactionary thinking. That said, humor shouldn’t be above criticism either. The more downwards you punch the smarter you should be about it.

    In the age of Internet, people seem to be offended by anything and everything, so it would be good to remember that if you identify yourself liberal person (I do), you should also be tolerating to offensive material, because that swing goes both ways, you cant eat the cake and keep it too. In general, everyone should loosen up a little, it never hurt anyone, unlike being so very offended about whatever reason it happens to be today.

  2. I’m probably going to get judged for this, but I think that a large number of people have forgotten the difference between being offended by something and something being offensive. There are individuals who get offended by someone eating steak. That does not make it wrong to eat steak. Now, if you were eating a human instead of a cow, that would be offensive. Where’s the line that you have to cross for something to be offensive? That’s a difficult and murky question, and the variables involved are many and disparate. Your gender, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, etc. all play a part in society determining whether what you said or did is offensive.

    I haven’t read the jokes from Sandler’s movie, but regardless of what the jokes were, I think that having the makeup department put people in makeup to appear Native American after the other actors left is the actually offensive part of the story.

    As an aside, I’d expect a well educated man, as Tony Stark is supposed to be, would know that there is no historical evidence that prima nocta was ever a real thing. Even if that’s not the case, it is entirely in character for a man like Tony, who was known for sleeping around and generally getting every woman he wanted right up until the funvee incident, would make a joke about sleeping with women.

  3. I agree a lot with the above comments. Comedy is a difficult thing to write, but it should be said and if you are offended be offended, let it be known so in a way both points of the topic can be seen.

    Something that I think is lost is people separating the fictional characters from the writer. It was touched on with Tony Stark at the end, probably doesn’t reflect Joss Whedon’s beliefs. Characters like people are flawed, and not every joke of what a character thinks is funny should be taken as an indictment of the writer.

  4. Interesting topic. I don’t think the group ever really came to grips with the question Zack raised about what makes Charlie Hebdo different. Rodrigo took a quick run at it, but them it faded. It strikes me that the issue of social and cultural power is important here. Humor is used against out groups to assert cultural dominance until the point that the out group gains enough cultural power to make that kind of humor unpalatable. It is also why certain groups can joke about themselves, but the same joke would be offensive if you’d by someone not of the group. Matthew’s use of fat jokes is in point here. When he makes a fat joke it is okay for us to laugh. When thin people make those jokes many people still laugh, but many people are uncomfortable. Fat people don’t have the cultural power for their group to be above humor yet.

    Interesting topic. Thanks.

  5. Karl G. Siewert on

    I think that a worthwhile comparison to Adam Sandler’s situation is that of Weird Al Yankovic last summer. One of the lines in his song “Word Crimes” included the phrase “you write like a spastic.” That noun is a derogatory term that has historically been applied to persons with cerebral palsy.

    When he was confronted about this, Mr. Yankovic responded with an explanation of his ignorance and a heartfelt apology.

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