Yesterday, as I was mindlessly browsing through Facebook, I came across two articles about someone, somewhere, once again being politically correct and offended by something. In this case it was Jason Bateman taking the piss out of veganism in a Hyundai Superbowl ad and… wait for it… Mary Poppins.
Really? Someone is offended by Mary Poppins? The sweet English nanny with a flower in her hat?
Apparently, an iconic scene where Mary Poppins pops out of a chimney with her face all black from the soot is really an allusion to “black face”. This just goes to show how one can find damn near anything to be offended by these days.
Later on during the day, I came across another article titled “Liam Neeson Explains ‘Racist Interview’ About Wanting to kill a Black B*stard”. In the interview Neeson explains how a friend of his was brutally raped by a black man. He then walked the streets for about a week, hoping to be approached by some “black bastard” so that he could kill him.
At first glance it might seem like Liam Neeson is not very “politically correct” at all. In-fact, without proper context, one can easily assume that he’s a total racist. And – surprise, surprise – there was a huge backlash. Following the remarks he made, the red carpet premiere for his upcoming film was cancelled.
The crazy thing, however, is that this happened nearly 40 years ago. In the interview Neeson actually lamented the fact that he thought and behaved this way. Neeson said, “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.” Yes, God forbid that someone should open up about being human; that they behaved in a way that was less than perfect and politically correct nearly 40 years ago, but that they learned a lesson and evolved since then. He also added, “I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the fuck are you doing’, you know? I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing.”
Now he’s being punished, not for doing anything, but simply for thinking a certain way nearly 40 years ago! I’m also reminded of Kevin Hart stepping down from hosting the Oscars after someone dug up jokes he made about gay people on Twitter about a decade ago. Seriously, what is this world coming to? But maybe it isn’t “the world” as such. The truth is that social media has given nearly everyone a voice, which is good. But what also happens now is that one person can be offended by something and then someone else will write an article about it. With the Mary Poppins controversy, for instance, it was really just one person who came to that particular conclusion.