Comedy legend Mel Brooks has said ‘a stupidly politically correct society’ is killing comedy in the film industry.
In a recent interview with BBC Radio 4, Mel Brooks explained ‘political correctness’ is causing ‘the death of comedy’ making it less authentic.
This means films like Blazing Saddles, a Western spoof about a black sheriff in a racist town, could not be made today.
It’s OK not to hurt the feelings of various tribes and groups. However, it’s not good for comedy.
Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. It’s the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, telling the truth about human behaviour.
Brooks made a name for himself with successful comedies such as The Producers and Young Frankenstein and was applauded for his risk-taking.
With his films he satirised racism, religion and feminism and described himself as ‘the king of vulgarity’.
But now Mel claims these are some of the topics comedy can no longer touch.
Referring to Blazing Saddles, he said:
Without that, the movie would not have had nearly the significance, the force, the dynamism, and the stakes that were contained in it.
Brooks also said there is one topic that should never be parodied, the Holocaust.
I personally would never touch gas chambers or the death of children or Jews at the hands of the Nazis.
In no way is that at all usable or correct for comedy. It’s just in truly bad taste. Everything else is ok.
Mel is right in saying comedy isn’t the same but whether this is a good thing or bad thing, that is for audiences to decide.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.