I sit here, feeling a mix of disappointment and frustration, as I reflect on Jocelyn Chia’s recent viral video, where she made an insensitive joke about Malaysia and the MH370 missing airplane. It’s disheartening to witness a comedian who fails to understand the gravity of the topics they choose to joke about. In this column, I want to share my thoughts and emotions regarding this incident, as it has left me questioning the state of empathy and sensitivity in comedy.
I can’t help but wonder how someone could be so unaware of the impact their words can have. The MH370 tragedy is not something to be taken lightly or used as material for a cheap laugh. It affected the lives of countless individuals and left families devastated. It is a wound that continues to ache, and Chia’s joke only added salt to it – not to mentioned she is a lawyer/ former lawyer after all, to think someone who is well read would have some common sense when it comes to these sensitive topics, or perhaps – the attention and fame has made her heartless on stage and on social media.
Comedy has always had the ability to bring people together, to make us laugh, and even challenge societal norms. But when comedy crosses the line into insensitivity, it loses its power to unite and uplift. Instead, it becomes a weapon that inflicts pain and reinforces stereotypes. It is disappointing to witness comedy being used as a means to belittle, rather than to create connections and foster understanding.
Empathy should be at the core of any comedian’s craft. It is the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes, to understand their experiences, and to approach sensitive topics with sensitivity. Unfortunately, Chia’s joke lacked empathy, and it showed a disregard for the feelings of those affected by the tragedy and the broader Malaysian community. It leaves me questioning whether some comedians truly grasp the impact of their words or if they prioritize personal gain over human decency.
Sensitive topics require a delicate touch, a nuanced approach that acknowledges the pain and suffering associated with them. It is not about erasing humor from our lives but rather understanding that some things should be off-limits. We need comedians who can find laughter in the human experience without resorting to cheap shots and hurtful jokes.
This incident serves as a reminder that we, as consumers of comedy, have a responsibility to demand better. We should support comedians who approach their craft with empathy, who understand the power of their words, and who strive to create a positive impact. Let us use our voices to express our disappointment and encourage a change in the comedy landscape.
Jocelyn Chia’s insensitive joke has left me feeling disappointed and disheartened. It highlights the need for empathy and sensitivity in comedy, as well as the responsibility we have as consumers to demand better. It is my hope that comedians will recognize the impact of their words and choose to use their platforms to create laughter that unites and uplifts, rather than divides and hurts. Together, we can foster a more compassionate and understanding comedic landscape.