Harris Interactive Market Research conducted a telephone survey to determine
"what is funny," "what is offensive" and "what is both" in conjunction with
Trio's June "Uncensored Comedy" month of programming.
Among the findings:
\u0007 More respondents (43%) feel that gays and lesbians are the target of the
bulk of jokes on television, with jokes about African Americans (13%) coming in
at a distant second.
Only 12% of those surveyed felt that jokes are spread out evenly among
ethnicity and sexuality.
\u0007 Classic 1950s comedy series Amos `n' Andy -- featuring a
representation of African Americans as slow-moving and easily outwitted -- is
still a hot-button subject even though it hasn't been seen on television in more
than 40 years.
A total of 62% of those surveyed said they would not want to watch the show.
However, significantly more African Americans (46%) than whites (32%) said they
would watch the controversial series if it were aired today.
\u0007 Jokes about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are the most offensive, 38% of
those surveyed said, with jokes about the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair
(25%) the next most offensive, followed by jokes about the space-shuttle
\u0007 More than one-third (34%) of television viewers surveyed said Comedy
Central's South Park should be censored.
The survey revealed that African Americans (50%) are more likely than whites
(32%) to cite the need for the show to be edited for content, with 29% of women
agreeing that South Park should be censored.