One day, the time will come when I run for Miss America. And when I make it to the finals, which I will, I will be asked the inevitable question, "If you could wish one thing for this world, what would it be?"
And as I take a step forward towards the mic I will speak loudly and clearly:
- I do not want all nations of the world to hold hands
- I do not want to buy the world a coke
I want the world to learn how to take a fucking joke. I want them to realize where they should put their energies.
I work in an industry that is currently ruled by people that cannot take a joke. I do not mean studio executives. I mean the public.
The public spends money.
Companies buy advertising to get the public to spend money.
TV networks sell ad time to the companies to make their money.
I am not telling you anything new.
In reality, the general public is one big bully. The networks and advertisers are the wimpy kids in the playground and no one has the guts to tell them to shut the fuck up and learn how to take a joke.
Let's say I am watching a TV show. The lead character says; "I don't like cats." What do you do? If you said nothing, you're right. What the fuck does it matter?
Ah but wait. I decide to form a group called "Television Viewers In Defense of Cats." I write letters to the network that airs the show. I write letters to the companies that produce cat food. I tell them all that this is deplorable. Cats are people too. I have the support of cat lovers around the world and I will get people to not buy cat products advertised on this network if an apology is not made.
Now, as the network person getting that letter I can review the episode the person has a problem with and do one of two things...
a). Pull it off the air immediately and make heads roll.
b). Say to myself, "Self, this one person in bumfuck Iowa needs to relax and I am not going to even give weight to this comment."
Option B almost NEVER happens.
I hear time and time again, "this joke/comment/scene/page/drawing/etc) is not worth us receiving one letter." But it is. If it is truly not harming anyone, except for one deranged cat lover in Iowa, and if it makes the show more entertaining, and not having the joke/comment/scene/page/drawing/etc. makes the show LESS funny or LESS entertaining than someone has to stand up and say, "This is silly and on pure principle we are not caving to an unreasonable complaint."
As I said, B almost never happens.
This is what happens. A person at the network reads the letter and runs through the halls screaming "HOLY FUCK WE ARE ABOUT TO LOSE EVERY SINGLE CAT LOVER AS A VIEWER!!! WE MUST CAVE IMMEDIATELY. NO MORE COMMENTS ABOUT CATS. NO MORE COMMENTS ABOUT ANYTHING. THE WEATHER? DON'T SAY 'TOO BAD IT IS GOING TO RAIN' BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE LIKE RAIN AND THEY WILL COMPLAIN AND ALL PEOPLE WHO LIKE RAIN WILL NEVER WATCH THIS CHANNEL AGAIN!!!"
I am not referring to hateful comments. I am not referring to slipped racial slurs. I am referring to comments that do no harm to anyone.
And don't get me started on the Janet Jackson nipple slip. I saw it live. It was 1/3 of a second. I didn't even know what happened until all the people claiming it was disgraceful replayed it over and over, thereby increasing the people that saw it 50 fold. Nice going.
Am I being melodramatic, of course I am. I am exaggerating? Of course I am. But it is to prove a point. At one point do we stand up to the bullies and say, "Learn how to take a fucking joke."