Tracey Ullman Fail

So called comedians often use minorities for their humor. I never find this funny, and usually question why I bother trying to watch comedy shows after a certain point. Today I noticed the on-demand section for ShowTime had the “Tracey Ullman’s United States” section added. I started the first program, and right off the script starts with bashing illegal immigrants, Tracey Ullman, a white woman, in black face. It moves on to her mocking the Indian Culture, Islam, and Italians. She also mocks the very real medical ailment of Restless Leg Syndrome. It may sound funny, but, your legs burning all the time, unable to keep them still? Very problematic.

Instead of funny this show seems to show her hate. She makes fun of mostly ethnic groups, minorities, but makes fun of just enough white people to get away with her bigotry by the standards of those blind to their privilege. She makes fun of those from the south. She makes fun of everyone.

Hold up a mirror Tracey. Hold up a mirror to yourself and see just how sad you are. She goes with victim blaming, rape jokes, and does she see what this does to people? This isn’t funny. It is aggressively disgusting.

This may be old news, but, maybe someone will read this and will take notice. It is never funny to demean someone. It is never appropriate to put on black face. That was never funny. Ever. It is not appropriate to have your Indian Woman character sing her sentences in a mock Bollywood production while her life is threatened. It isn’t funny to play out acts of Xenophobia.

This show was supposed to be about America. Why then does any non white person have a thick accent that is usually unintelligible? Racism. Bigotry. Crap.

Not only is this show anti female, it is anti human. I will never watch another Tracey Ullman special. I can’t stand the stench of her tastelessness.

I am sure somewhere online you can find justifications for how she creates her characters to mock bigots. If the effect is more mocking of the minority, you have fail.

I felt this after one episode, I am trying a second.

More black face. More racial cliches. Showing a woman of color as toothless, uneducated, and irresponsible is NOT Funny. Mocking the Veterans of the Iraq war? Wrong. We need to support our soldiers even if we do not support the War itself. These individuals signed up with the intent to protect us.

Making fun of erectile dysfunction I can let pass, but wait… for many non elderly men Viagra has been an aid in achieving some of life’s more pleasurable aspects. It can help the disabled male perform, which can be psychologically freeing. Stating that elderly men who use Viagra will use it to sleep with whores is disrespectful to both sex workers and the elderly. Who has the right to judge the partner of another? Not me. Not you. Not Tracey Ullman.

Making fun of Poverty is inappropriate. Saying that a kid is “Shit at Math” is inappropriate. It doesn’t matter if parents say this all the time, a kid will believe it and will stop trying. It is important to encourage children, way to reinforce negatives.

Making fun of hard working individuals, those who have disabilities, making fun of those who are more naive about the world at large. None of this is funny. Doing this two episodes in a row? Mocking religion, not okay. No matter what religion it is. No matter how controversial you want to be, being a bigot is just not funny.

There is plenty of comedy without oppressing people. When the “funniest” stuff you do is antihuman, which this crap is… you are failing. When the non racist bits aren’t funny how do you get called a comedian?

I therefore give the elusive and rare Corkscrew of Justice to Tracey Ullman. You. FAIL.

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19 Comments

  1. Her name is Tracey, not Tracy

  2. Thanks, I’ll be editing the story to fix my error.

  3. So, let me get this straight, minorities need to be excluded in comedy? Minorities cannot be treated like everyone else? I’m sorry if Tracey isn’t politically correct enough for you, but comedy that has stood the test of time, and has remained relevant, has always been politically incorrect, holds no punches, and is uncensored.

    First of all, the show was pro-immigrant, not anti-immigrant. If you watched the first show, and weren’t so insistent on minorities being excluded from society and comedy, you would have picked up on this. The show showed how hard immigrants work, usually working two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

    Black face, you simply do not understand. What Tracey Ullman does is not black face. Black face is when a person chalks up their face, and puts big white circles around their lips to mock black people, a minstrel act.

    Tracey is fully made up as a black woman. She is not making fun. She’s embodying the character totally. And how is she making fun of a black person? What on Earth was so horrible that the character did or said? Black people make up America, the last time I checked.

    About the restless leg syndrome, again, how was she poking fun?

    The point of that character was to show a person who was not interested in reality television or pop culture, and would not freak out at the slightest mishap. Another positive character.

    I love how you claim that Tracey is oppressing people.

    Dear, you really need to get a grip. You are what is wrong with society, and make life so miserable. Learn to laugh. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Tracey has never done anything mean spirited. She’s celebrating everybody.

    You’re a typical bleeding heart of another generation which is extinct.

    You need everything baby-proofed, and water downed, just so you aren’t offended.

    I can’t see how you can watch anything, and enjoy it, with that 24-hour stick up your butt.

    Have a nice life, lady!

  4. I am allowed to have an opinion, and I watched more than one episode. I do not agree with your statements, and will be editing out the curse words. Cursing is not welcome on my blog. Communicate without it or don’t communicate at all.

    You attack me personally, because you want to defend your entertainment. Yes, Minorities should be treated with respect. Does this mean that only white people should be mocked? That creates an imbalance too. I love comedy, it is the mainstay of my entertainment. I just prefer my comedy to be free of cliches, free of the drudgery of old politics. This isn’t always possible, but I reserve the right to entertain myself with things that meet my standards, not yours.

    The restless leg syndrome was used to make it appropriate for her character to thrust her hips lewdly when horny, a manuever that any other way would be mocked for being lewd.

    My generation is not extinct, thanks. I am 24 at the time of this reply, my generation is just stepping up to lead. I do appreciate your comment, and I hope you have a nice day. If you choose to comment again, please be respectful. This is my space, and I will moderate it as I see the need.

  5. I wanted to add something too, in regards to the previous comment. Minorities are only minorities because they are not treated like everyone else.

  6. To “Never you mind”: Not all immigrants need to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. That’s stereotyping. And your argument loses all bite when you come off so offensively.

    To “Textual Fury”, Though I don’t agree with your assessment, I can empathize with some of your gripes. If Tracey’s show were funnier, it wouldn’t come off as so cold hearted and mean spirited. Check out the Tracey Ullman Show from the 80s..it was Tracey before she got derailed.

  7. Thank you for your concise response. I was a fan of Tracey Ullman due to reruns of her older work. I still enjoy it and will give her a try again in the future, but, I just couldn’t get past the bitter texture of the new work.

    Agreement is far from necessary to get along as well.

    Kat

  8. Okay..you do have a right to your opinion, but come on, Tracey does not mean to make fun of people, she does it for jokes. I find her show to be funny, and enjoy it. You don’t have to say these mean things to prove your point. She does a fantastic job of being a black woman. If she played one and did a really bad job, then that would be mocking them. But she does it with the utmost respect. Learn to laugh.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

  9. You are allowed to not like my article. I have my opinion, I am not going to argue with you but none of what I said is meant to be mean. I am just confused by the fact that because I dislike something she has done, I am immediately cast as dour, old, and humorless. It doesn’t matter what justification I give to combat that, you would just continue to assume, of course I don’t like her work. I have no sense of humor /scarasm

  10. Kate, Tracey’s version of a black woman is not fantastic..it’s such a blatant stereotype..big ass, jive talkin mama..now if Trace did a Michelle Obama and pulled it off..

    …and the Indian woman in the pharmacy is the same thing….everybody’s done that phony Indian accent one time or another…Ruby, Francesca, Kay..now those characters were art…

  11. I have never liked Tracey Ullman. I didn’t think you were being mean in your post either Kat. I think NeverYouMind was having a pissy day and needed someone to rant at and on top of all that she/he must be a SERIOUS Tracey Ullman fan. I have never seen anyone get so bent outta shape so quickly over one woman’s opinion of Tracey Ullman’s crappy jokes.

  12. Alright then. I understand completely. I’m not trying to start an argument at all, all I’m saying is that I don’t find anything wrong with her characters. Sorry about going on in the last post.

  13. It’s alright. Hopefully the perspective of others educated you. I learned a few things from this discussion myself. I hope that you still feel welcome here, too. This is a place where very few are not allowed, and those few are the ones who just want to destroy. You are obviously not someone like that.

  14. I still do feel welcome here. It’s just that I was really surprised at the comments/entry etc, so I wanted to voice my opinion, and I did. And with some people they agreed, and some did not. That’s life right? And thank you for saying that.

  15. I agree. It’s absolute fail. TU obviously knows squat about America — and she can’t even keep her accents consistent. No insight. It would be fine if she showed any wit; but nobody forgives an unfunny comedienne.

    Just go home and razz on London immigrants. Maybe at the very least someone will have a laugh amid the tasteless garbage.

  16. I won’t bash on her talent or lack of talent however I see it, as she does have a lot of talent at least for designing the acts. It is merely that the acts contain overt racism, ableism, and reaffirm the patriarchal roles, as stated above.

    Too it is just as low to presume that other people from her home area may be just as crass as she is. Crassness, blindness to privilege, and other such traits are taught, and tend to be in every part of this world despite their toxic nature.

  17. Interesting. Maybe since I’m young, I don’t really notice these things. I don’t really know why I went off before. Maybe it was because I was trying to defend her, and didn’t really care what other people thought, and didn’t allow room for negative comments. I mean, Tracey has been living in America for a long time now, but maybe she should study it a little more.

  18. You’re an idiot.

  19. You are welcome to your opinion though, it would be most helpful if you went in to why this post makes you feel so strongly that you need to try insulting a person on the internet.


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