Observations: Censorship may help entertainment industry

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Observations: Censorship may help entertainment industry

A sign urges passersby to retrain from violence and hate speech.

A sign urges passersby to retrain from violence and hate speech.

The Magnet Tribune: photosforclass.com

A sign urges passersby to retrain from violence and hate speech.

The Magnet Tribune: photosforclass.com

The Magnet Tribune: photosforclass.com

A sign urges passersby to retrain from violence and hate speech.

Aryanna Rodriguez, Observations Columnist

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The First Amendment to the United States Constitution gives us the right to freedom of speech which cannot be taken away by the government. The documentary “Uncensored Comedy: That’s Not Funny!” discusses the issue of censorship in the entertainment industry.

There have been many debates whether freedom of speech should be restricted by private institutions such as television networks, movie studios, and record companies, and to what extent it should be restricted.

Many believe there are certain topics that should be off-limits in the entertainment industry. In my perspective, there are some topics that shouldn’t be joked about because while these topics might be funny to one person they may be offensive or hurtful to another. I do not believe it would be correct for freedom of speech to be protected by private institutions for several reasons.

There is a thin line between a smart joke and an offensive rant. Each day, comedians make a living out of their hurtful jokes. They risk losing everything just to make some people laugh and make others hurt. If they cross the line one bit, it is over for them.

One comedian who I feel crossed that line is Richard Pryor. He hit on many issues that other comedians didn’t because they knew that those topics or issues crossed the line. In his comedies, he let the world in on the secret about how blacks felt about white Americans. He had his own TV show called “The Richard Pryor Show.” In one of his skits, he played a rock star who killed all his white fans with a machine gun. With censorship in the entertainment industry, certain jokes would not be allowed thus preventing future similar situations.

There are many topics that I believe should be off-limits in the entertainment industry. A topic I believe should be off limits is hate speech. Hate speech expresses hatred of a particular group of people and most of the time hate speech is about racism. Hate speech has been an issue for many years now, especially racism hate speech. It’s most offensive when one ethnicity attempts to impersonate another, reducing a character to the color of his or her skin, and worse spreading stereotype. An example of this and of hate speech would be the history of blackface in the entertainment industry.

The characteristics of blackface have played a significant role in spreading racist images, attitudes, and perceptions. “Blackface” appears in many forms. One way blackface has made an appearance is in movies. “Birth of a Nation,” which was released in 1915, portrays racism in a horrifying way. The movie shows white men in blackface facing off against actors playing the Ku Klux Klan protecting the “Aryan” cause. According to many people, this movie proved that there was violence against blacks in many cities. The use of blackface and its significance has put a mark on how black people are looked at. Censorship being allowed in the entertainment industry could prevent people mocking and making fun of black people.

Censorship is the ability to control something that is out of reach of citizens when it comes to situations involving private institutions, which is why I agree with censorship. This ability is good in the entertainment industry. As I mentioned in my previous arguments there are some topics that should be censored because of the history of the topics and the future damage it could cause in our society.