Comedian and actor Jennifer Saunders claims today’s PC brigade is killing comedy as once hilarious skits are now considered unacceptable in the modern world.
The popular comedian, known famously for her role as Edina Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous, said satirical humour and uncensored behaviour that for many years brought people to stitches of laughter is being faded out due to the heightened amount of social media trolls.
Speaking at a literature festival recently, the 60-year-old shared concerns that she and comedy sidekick Dawn French’s time on the screens may be coming to an end due to the PC environment of today, The Times reports.
“I think it is harder to write what we used to write now. There is always someone tutting in the back of your mind every time you write a joke that is on the edge: ‘Don’t you think someone might be offended?’ It’s very tiring,” she said.
“Because now you are not allowed to just write comedy and put it on television. You can with stage… but with television there’s a lot of tutting. It’s very annoying. I do look back at stuff we’ve done in the past and think: oh God, the Twittersphere would go mad.”
Her comments follow backlash the comedy duo received last year for a particular skit where they dressed as old ladies and used the phrase “fudge-packer”. Saunders and French were accused of being homophobic for their choice of words.
Saunders isn’t the first one to express concerns that PC is taking over Aussie comedy. Earlier this year legendary Australian comedian Kevin Bloody Wilson claimed the PC-prone society is “killing” classic comedy because people are too scared to laugh at anything that isn’t deemed politically correct.
Wilson, and other Aussie comedy greats, such as Austen Tayshus, Wendy Harmer and Billy Birmingham, built his career on controversial jokes, touching on anything from obesity and homosexuality, to terrorism and even disabilities.
However, with a new generation of younger comedians, it seems there has been a dramatic shift in the comedy industry – and those gags that hovered on invisible boundaries before, are now slammed as offensive and a step too far. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Wilson said he’s even hesitant to appear on TV now, over fears he could offend his audience and find himself at the centre of a media storm.