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Mental Health Perspectives: ‘Seinfeld’ Is The Latest TV Classic To Offend Millennials Over Jokes About ‘Soup Nazi,’ Same-Sex Relationships

Mental Health Perspectives with Dr. John Huber & Kristin Sunata Walker

‘Seinfeld’ Is The Latest TV Classic To Offend Millennials Over Jokes About ‘Soup Nazi,’ Same-Sex Relationships

Critics are slamming the popular sitcom Seinfeld as offensive, calling many of its jokes tone-deaf and distasteful. Some points of controversy include using offensive slurs like Nazi and Indian Giver or racist jokes against people who can’t speak English and poking fun at homosexuals. The controversy follows attacks on other long-running shows like Friends and All In The Family.


What we are experiencing is the raw and unstoppable force of mass communication via social media and the internet. If I watched a rerun of All In The Family with Archie Bunker today, I’d be appalled. But when I watched this show as a child it was considered funny and edgy. What I didn’t have at my fingertips was a smartphone.

Every generation has an evolution, thankfully, of some kind but none prior to the Millennial generation had a place where their voices could be heard en masse. Is some of what was considered okay on Seinfeld appropriate for today’s awareness and culture? Absolutely not. In the past these kinds of discussions would be held in ethics class on popular television shows at a university. It would be studied like history – our past has always been studied. Just as Seinfeld is not appropriate for today’s day and age – neither are the old ways of expressing our outrage. Everyone can be heard today that has a smartphone in hand and available internet. This is a whole new era for all of us.

Is this wrong? Has the pendulum swung too far? Are we getting too politically correct? Obviously not. The people are speaking. But is a show like Seinfeld currently in production today with new shows? No – it wouldn’t be relevant. Should it be available to be watched today on Netflix or anywhere else with content that was a reflection of our evolution at the time it was on the air? Let’s ask ourselves if censorship is a good idea for any person or country.

It’s okay to be offended at what was considered appropriate in the past. This is part of how we learn and grow as human beings. Should we punish the actors, creators, generation that liked Seinfeld and feel it is a beloved part of their experience? I don’t think so. Be compassionate about what people of a generation before you had to tolerate because it was culturally appropriate and didn’t have the benefit of a platform to complain like social media. And then – create new and positive content that is a reflection of today.”

clinical forensic psychologist, Dr. John Huber, life change, mental health, mental health perspectives, mental illness, positive change, psychology, psychology headlines, social issues

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