Justice

"South Park" Has a Hilarious Take on PC Culture

September 20th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

If there has ever been a show that makes fun of every single group imaginable, it's Comedy Central's "South Park," which debuted its 19th season on Wednesday by mocking our politically correct (PC) culture. "South Park," which has challenged political correctness since it first aired nearly 20 years ago, started season 19 with an episode titled "Stunning and Brave."

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The episode opens with the characters' school appointing a brotastic "PC Principal" to "try and make South Park Elementary a more progressive place that fits in with today's times." PC Principal is a hyper-masculine, aggressive man who is easily offended and is not afraid to physically abuse the students for exhibiting microaggressions, which are slights against different groups of people. Once PC Principal sweeps in, lots of people start getting detention and in trouble for offending others.

Kyle, one of the main characters on the program, is sent to PC Principal's office for saying he doesn't think Caitlyn Jenner is a hero. When his dad tells other people about this at a college bar, a bunch of strangers come forward to say that they are offended that someone would not consider Jenner a hero. Randy, one of the parents on the series, joins PC Principal's PC fraternity to prove he knows how to be a PC college bro.

They break it down with a few laughs, of course.

The greater issue of PC culture

The season 19 premiere was widely praised on the internet, as many agree PC culture has gone too far, particularly with regards to college campuses. The Atlantic published a long article about the negative academic impact PC culture can have on college campuses earlier this month, and over the summer, comedian Jerry Seinfeld said in a radio interview that he won't play colleges anymore because students that age are too sensitive.

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"I don't play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me 'don't go near colleges, they're so PC,'" he said. "I'll give you an example. My daughter is 14. My wife says to [my 14-year-old daughter], ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ And you know what my daughter says? She says ‘that’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. 'That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what the [bleep] they’re talking about.”


President Barack Obama spoke out against PC culture at a recent town hall appearance, stating it's a bad idea to "coddle" college students and refuse to expose them to ideas with which they'll disagree:

"I’ve heard some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I gotta tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. I think you should be able to — anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with ‘em. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, 'You can’t come because I'm too sensitive to hear what you have to say.' That’s not the way we learn either."

Late last year, HBO's Bill Maher condemned the PC nature of college campuses after UC Berkeley students petitioned to remove him as the December graduation speaker because of comments he'd made about Islam.


"They invited me because it was the 50th anniversary of something that is legendary on that campus-- the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. I guess they don't teach irony in college anymore," Maher said. "And then a few weeks ago, Ben Affleck was on our show and we had a discussion about Islam that I've had a thousands and one nights with a lot of other people, but he's an A-list movie star, so now our very deep media started to care about it... Whoever told you you only had to hear what didn't upset you? The University has come down on my side saying what I hope they would say all along, which is 'we're liberals, we're supposed to like free speech!'"

Former NYC Michael Bloomberg made similar remarks during his 2013 speech at Harvard University, saying it's a shame that many commencement speakers have been pushed away because of political correctness and that this is damaging to those who want to learn and grow.


"This spring, it has been disturbing to see a number of college commencement speakers withdraw -- or have their invitations rescinded -- after protests," Bloomberg said. "In each case, liberals silenced a voice -- and denied an honorary degree -- to individuals they deemed politically objectionable. This is an outrage. If you want the freedom to worship as you wish, to speak as you wish, and to marry whom you wish, you must tolerate my freedom to do so -- or not do so -- too. What I do may offend you. You may find my actions immoral or unjust. But attempting to restrict my freedoms in ways that you would not restrict your own leads only to injustice."