Comedian Sarah Silverman defended politically correct college students at the Toronto Film Festival this week, arguing that her fellow comics need to “change with the times” so as not to offend young liberals.
Responding to questions on the refusal of many comedians to perform at universities, Silverman told Vanity Fair that “it’s a sign of being old” when comics are “put off” by the political left’s attempts at dictating accepted speech.
“To a degree, everyone’s going to be offended by something, so you can’t just decide on your material based on not offending anyone,” Silverman said. “But, I do think it’s important, as a comedian, as a human, to change with the times, to change with new information. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with changing with the times.”
Silverman went on to claim that the “college-aged” were “pretty much always” right, noting their historic role as leaders of the “revolution.”
“You have to listen to the college-aged, because they lead the revolution,” Silverman said. “They’re pretty much always on the right side of history.”
Vanity Fair’s question follows recent statements by multiple comics such as Jerry Seinfeld who feel political correctness is stifling the growth of comedy.
“I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so pc,’” Seinfeld told ESPN last June. “They just want to use these words. ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.”
Seinfeld made similar comments during a 2014 interview with Buzzfeed in which he was accused of having too many “white males” on his show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
“This really pisses me off…” Seinfeld said. “I mean, people think it’s the census or something? Does this got to represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares… If you’re funny, I’m interested. If you’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”
Other comics including Chris Rock, Bill Burr and Jay Leno, who was called racist by a college intern for saying he didn’t like guacamole, have also spoke out against political correctness in recent months.
“No it’s not racist. Being anti-guacamole is not racist,” Leno told Late Night host Seth Meyers. “You have no idea what racism is. That’s not racist, you idiot! You moron!”