Political correctness is everywhere but there’s been one last bastion for politically incorrect language — a place where one could say things that were offensive or sexist or racist and that last solitary outpost was the roast.
Alas, it looks like the roast is no longer insulated when it comes to social justice warriors and progressives who are “triggered” by mere words.
Watch as I relate what happened at a gathering of Canada’s top Arctic scientists when Martin Fortier, the retiring head of ArcticNet, was roasted.
As a francophone with a reputation for misspeaking English phrases, there was plenty of material for those roasting Fortier, including an innocent verbal gaffe he once made which, if taken the wrong way, sounded sexist.
Not long after the roast, an open letter began circulating at the conference and was later released online with 26 signatories.
The signatories, mostly graduate or post-graduate students from universities across Canada, were “shocked” by that horribly sexist remark, saying:
“We were stunned and offended by the statements. Comments that frame women as a ‘buffet’ to sample are deeply offensive... The trivialization of these behaviours at a professional event illustrates the deeply embedded sexist culture that exists in this field and this organization.”
So now, like the workplace and university campuses, the roast is apparently off-limits to speech that might offend meaning those running roasts will have to apply the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all” rule.
That should cut down on the potential for offending but it will also make these events pretty boring.
I guess that’s a small price to pay if it means that no precious hothouse flowers are going to end up being “shocked and offended” by a double-entendre.