If you followed the TV entertainment headlines last week, you may have noticed the announcement that two, rather controversial, comedic pseudo news programs have been given the proverbial boot from primetime. Both “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News” (CNN) and David Allen Grier’s “Chocolate News” (Comedy Central) were handed their pink slips after only one season. Reviews for both shows have been mixed, with the worst of the criticism aimed at D.L. Hughley’s show. Both shows pushed, and at times erased, the boundary between racially controversial and flat out minstrel show. Not long ago “Chapelle’s Show“, a racially controversial sketch comedy show, was riding high while bringing in extraordinary ratings for Comedy Central. It too pushed and erased boundaries. So what’s changed? This may be a leap but, we have a new President…who happens to be a Black American. Begging us to ask the question, is there room for comic buffoonery of this type in the age of President Obama? Are we finally forcing ourselves and networks to be responsible in their portrayal of Black Americans? Or are we taking ourselves too seriously? You could make a case either way, but given the seemingly endless “court jester” portrayals of Black Americans in media, a change just might do us some good. What do you think?
Image courtesy of NYTimes.com