Is it possible to be funny without offending someone? Like most other corners of the entertainment industry, comedy has been undergoing a shift at the hands of the #MeToo movement since last October. Louis CK, Jeremy Piven and Aziz Ansari are just a few of the powerful comics who were accused of sexual misconduct and forced out of the spotlight (even if only for a short while) to think about what they did or didn't do. On the heels of that shift, women and people of colour and LGBTQ folks have started to call for comedy that is safer and tailored to a wider audience. Simply put, these groups want comedy made for them—not just white, cis-gendered men.
The debate is ongoing and divisive and almost every comic has a strong answer one way or the other. Is it OK to joke about sexual assault? Is it only OK if victims of sexual assault are the ones making the jokes? Is comedy still the same if some things are off the table? Or can it actually be better for having had that discussion? Freelance entertainment writer (and associate editor of this podcast) Meghan Collie explains how the industry is changing, whether we like it or not.