Shows like Fresh off the Boat and black-ish seem to offer funnier aspects of different cultures and provide a humorous outlook.
Photo By: Isabella Rivera, Photographer

By: Kadin Daigle, Copy Editor

As society changes on a wide scale, entertainment changes with it. Comedy today, for instance, is very different than comedy 50 years ago. Modern comedians and comedy writers use a raunchier, “in-your-face” type of humor that sometimes seems a little too much for the faint of heart. TV shows like black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat are excellent examples of these changes.

As two of ABC’s newest comedies, both of these shows took an angle showing the funnier aspects of family life, one portraying an African American family in modern times and the other an Asian American family in the nineties. Both took off in popularity—Fresh Off the Boat even became ABC’s third most watched sitcom—but as expected, the issue of race became prevalent immediately.

Some people may think that the shows are racist simply because of the fact that people of color are spotlighted in an environment that isn’t overrun with a white population. While this is a potential concern, the main purpose of these shows isn’t to make a statement about race issues in America; these shows are just created and aired to make people laugh.

Junior Dominic Montas believes that the shows are just meant to be funny. “As long as the writers aren’t trying to attack anyone, then [the shows] should be fine,” he says.

The real question shouldn’t be whether or not these shows are racist, but why race has to play any role in determining how good a show is. Despite the comedic, racially direct titles, both black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat are shows about family life regardless of the race factor involved. People shouldn’t critique these shows so harshly for the “racism” that is portrayed simply because race is brought to the forefront of both. There are many popular shows that involve an all, to predominantly, white cast yet are just seen as funny and not racist. How is excluding people of color any different than making them stars?

Friends didn’t have a single black character in its main cast. Despite being set in New York, the pilot only featured white people, even as extras. Seinfeld is a show about white, Jewish people, and didn’t show a lot of racial diversity, but that was never a concern. The reality is that people seem to only want to pull the “race card” when TV shows highlight people of color.

Senior Linda Li says, “I think people are just too sensitive. The shows are meant to be funny and they really are. I don’t think that it matters that the basis of the shows are centered around people of color. The shows aren’t offensive so nobody should be offended.”

All in all, comedy shows are just meant to be entertaining. Writers aren’t always trying to make a political statement and they aren’t always trying to “stir up the pot” of Hollywood.