Racial jokes on network sitcoms too often reinforce stereotypes instead of subverting them
There is nothing wrong with jokes about race, says Yoonj Kim, who spent a week in March studying every network sitcom for racial jokes. But, he adds, "there’s a crucial distinction between gratuitous one-stop references and thought-provoking humor: The latter will feature another moment in the same episode that dispels or shows another side to the stereotype being invoked. Context turns the joke from a zero-sum remark to subversive humor that serves as a segue into meaningful commentary. To put it in facetiously simple terms, it’s the difference between 'No offense, but you’re really ugly,' and 'No offense, but you’re really ugly when you do this.'"
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