“The Dooley Show,” a student-run satirical news show, similar to that of “The Daily Show,” is a part of Emory T.V. (ETV) and is funded by the Student Government Association (SGA). In the show’s latest episode, aired solely on their YouTube channel in November, “The Dooley Show” made two jokes that has resulted in large-scale backlash by the Emory community.
The first joke said Emory students who are here because of affirmative action should be found by the loyal 83 followers of the Dooley Show and engage in the “tar[ing] & feathering,” “burning crosses” and “lynching” of these students. The second took a different route, saying girls could go to the Bra Chain Campaign, an awareness event hosted by Feminists in Action (FIA) and Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA) on McDonough Field, to “claim their bras and their dignity.” These distasteful jokes have created an uproar in Emory’s student body and have resulted in SGA freezing the funds that are allocated towards “The Dooley Show.”
We at the Wheel understand that the segment was intended to be satirical, but find the delivery of the jokes and the apology, written some time after the incident, problematic. Members of “The Dooley Show” should have demonstrated greater wisdom when using sensitive topics like race and sex for humor. Although we recognize the show’s right to free speech, we are sorely disappointed at the lack of tact and complete insensitivity that was portrayed by members of our Emory community.
Additionally, we are disappointed that the show initially reacted so poorly when it became clear that people found the jokes offensive. Instead of issuing a sincere apology, the group behind “The Dooley Show” simply reiterated that the comment was meant to be a joke. Only after more members of the Emory community expressed frustration at the response did the group issue an actual apology one day later. We expect better of a community that prides itself on diversity and equality, and expect better of those who lead organizations funded students.
Since “The Dooley Show” is inextricably linked to the Emory community in funds, students and name, we cannot ignore how this event reflects on Emory as a whole. We find the idea of a satirical show necessary for students’ creativity, but we hope that in the future more care will be taken in the production of such comedic endeavors. Perhaps satirical publications that have the potential to overstep bounds and offend would benefit from a faculty adviser to look over suspect material.
We applaud individual students and student groups that have mobilized in the wake of this incident. It is most admirable to see members of our community fighting for what they believe in and fighting against, what they perceive to be, systemic issues of insensitivity. Whether or not the community decides to end “The Dooley Show,” we want to stress that the move would not solve the bigger issues, though it would set a solid precedent for members of the community.
The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.