Hollywood director David Zucker complained that his industry was killing comedy by allowing a small percentage of overly-sensitive people to dictate whether their jokes were “offensive.”
Zucker — who directed the raucous 1980 comedy “Airplane!” — told PragerU in a video that was posted on Tuesday that the only way to make that particular movie in the current culture would be to do it “without the jokes.”
The filmmaker noted that a recent “James Bond” and “Mission Impossible” parody had received criticism for what he argued was a bland joke about a female law enforcement officer who needed a breast reduction in order to fit into a kevlar vest.
“My current writing partner Pat Croft and I wrote a parody of ‘James Bond’ and ‘Mission: Impossible’ … One female executive said, ‘This joke is getting pretty risqué.’ It was a mild joke about the lead female character, because she had come up through the police department and FBI, she said she needed a breast reduction to fit into the kevlar vest,” Zucker explained.
“It was pure oatmeal, so mild. Not one of our funniest things, but this was too much. I thought, ‘If this was the criteria for it, we’re in big trouble.’ They’re destroying comedy because of nine percent of the people who don’t have a sense of humor.”
Zucker, who also directed “The Naked Gun” franchise and two films from the “Scary Movie” franchise, explained that Hollywood wasn’t making movies like those anymore because everyone was so afraid of offending the wrong people.
“We could be as offensive as we liked … We went where the laughs were,” Zucker said of the earlier years of his career. “We never thought that we were offending anyone, but if we were offending people, we knew we were on the right track. As time went on, it got to be the ’90s and the 2000s and it did change … We never worried about any of this stuff with the ‘Naked Gun’ or ‘Scary Movie’ films.”
“When we do screenings of ‘Airplane!’ we get the question if we could do ‘Airplane!’ today,” he added. “The first thing I could think of is sure — just without the jokes.”
Zucker is far from the only one sounding the alarm on the direction woke culture is taking Hollywood. “Monty Python” alum John Cleese has warned that comedians don’t have the freedom to be funny if they’re too busy worrying about how someone might interpret the joke. “White Chicks” actor Marlon Wayans has said more movies like the 2004 comedy were “needed.”