Where does a comedian draw the line?

09 Jun 2023 04:28pm
File pic
File pic

SHAH ALAM - Comedians should be mindful of certain topics that are considered sensitive or taboo in various contexts, depending on cultural norms, societal values and individual sensitivities.

According to local comedian Datuk Afdlin Shauki its also important to note that comedy is subjective, and what one person finds funny, another may find offensive.

"Skilled comedians can navigate sensitive topics in a thoughtful and respectful manner, but there is always a risk of crossing the line and causing harm. Being mindful of the potential impact of words and considering the diverse perspectives of their audience is crucial for comedians." he told Sinar Daily when contacted today Afdlin went on to add that comedians may choose to avoid or approach topics such as religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, traumatic experiences, tragedies and disasters with caution.

Commenting on the joke made by stand-up comedian Jocelyn Chia, who had insulted Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines MH370 in a comedy club in New York, Afdlin said that it was made in bad taste.

"I found it was unpleasant and rude, she was obviously trying to follow the American style of humour and comedy," he said Afdlin said however it was important to noted that despite their best efforts, comedians may occasionally make mistakes or cross the line unintentionally.

He stressed that when this happens, a sincere apology and willingness to learn and grow can help rebuild trust and demonstrate respect for those who were offended.

For Kishen Alex Raj, a 36-year-old standup comedian from Kuala Lumpur, comedy is not a one size fits all situation.

"I don't know her personally, so I won't talk for her or against her.

"I was a journalist during the MH370 incident, and I also know people who are still waiting for their loved ones to come back home. This is an unprecendented incident, and just like many people, I don't know how to react. It is a just such a sad incident." Kishen told Sinar Daily.

Kishen said that showing respect is a Malaysian culture and our upbringing is such that we are all brought up to respect one another.

"However, just like how someone would pass a bill or law or act, that might not be in line with the livelihood of another,does that mean it was done without respect?

"Everyone has their comedy genre preference or comedian that they like. It is the same as music, some like rock songs, some for some weird reason listens to trap music," he said

In a comedy skit, stand up comedian Jocelyn Chia,had excessively belittled Malaysia in a 'Singapore vs Malaysia'comedy performance which was believed to be held in Manhattan, New York.

The performance which was captured on video went viral as it was filled outrageous jokes touching on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Malaysia's development and internet connectivity.

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