Violent Humor Floods Our Television Screens Essay

1272 Words 6 Pages
Violent humor floods our television screens. Many viewers perceive these aggressive scenes as humorous. Potter (2002) suggests, “The media continually and profoundly affect everyone, and when the messages are violent, people are at risk for a variety of negative effects” (p. 31). On the other hand, “audiences have also demonstrated some ability to resist the power of media representations and even to deconstruct various versions of violent reality,” (Barak 2003, p 192). Such debate remains widespread within today’s society, with many television shows said to influence viewers. Looking specifically at MTV’s controversial Jackass films and TV shows, my study would explore the effect(s) of hyper-realistic violence on our collective understanding of humor, as both audiences and performers.
An issue, which has captivated both audiences and analysts of the media, violence includes “actions that inflict, threaten, or cause injury” (Jackman, 2002). More specifically, television violence is “the overt expression of physical force against self or other, compelling action against one’s will on pain of being hurt or killed, or actually hurting or killing” (Gerbner, 1970, p. 31). With an average of 6.2 violent acts or threats committed on our screens each hour, the issues surrounding aggressive behavior and its possible influence have become widespread in our society (Fowles, 1999, p 4). Theorists believe actions portrayed in entertainment television can often trigger imitation,…

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