When and where are parodies useful in aiding the education of identities? How, if at all, should a comedic act be used in order to spread a specific message to multiple audiences?
Parodies, such as the one used in the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards titled “We Solved It,” are usually hit-or-miss for multiple reasons. Because comedians are usually not taken very seriously, it’s hard to pinpoint where something said is real and where something is meant to be taken as a joke.
Parodies — hit or miss?
“We Solved It,” in many eyes, can be considered a hit. It was satirical, funny, expressed a very specific viewpoint and used comedy to get the message across. However, many of those who do not agree with this believe that parodies are not the best way to educate on an important topic, such as the lack of diversity in the Emmys.
“Parodies in many instances are meant to be a scathing examination of a problem,” according to Dr. Tori Arthur, a professor of Journalism and Media Communication at Colorado State University, and the use of satire aides in accepting “the truth [the writers] want the audience to digest.”
This stems from a continuous narrative that the media doesn’t take issues involving diversity seriously. It’s also a reflection of the current state of our society. According to Thomas Prest, a high school contemporary media teacher, celebrities have the best ability to share the most widely-agreed viewpoint:
[Celebrities] have one of the strongest voices out there, sometimes unfortunately, they are well-known and have the means to communicate thoughts widely. . . . It can be argued that because of the power they hold, they should use their platforms wisely.
This viewpoint has been discussed in multiple instances, usually when celebrities are involved in something political and oftentimes controversial.
Did it succeed?
Was “We Solved It” a success in its goal to spread its message about diversity in Hollywood? The best way to find the result is to look at audience receptions. According to TeenVogue, the skit actually worked against itself in highlighting how the Emmys was, in fact, not diverse. The publications backs up its claim by explaining that the winners at the Emmys were mainly white:
It’s true that this year’s Emmys did indeed recognize a record number of diverse talent in the acting categories . . . but it wasn’t until 11 Emmys in, when Regina King won for Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series . . . that it seemed like the show as actually trying to walk the walk of being exclusive.
However the reception of “We Solved It,” there is one thing everyone can agree on: It was spread far and wide. That’s one of the benefits from short parodies such as this one — it was easily shareable and had more of an opportunity to go viral to mass audiences.
The best way for the producers of the Emmys to gauge whether or not their opening number was a hit-or-miss is to research its reception throughout the internet. Although in our current time, the most vocal people online are also the ones who know that joking about important topics can only get so far, realistically.
Having grown up in a Peruvian household, Valera is no stranger to the importance of cultural fluidity. Her university education taught her how vital it was to understand privileged groups, marginalized identities, and how to combat the inequalities within society. Culturs is a perfect blend of education and celebration of cultures through the engagement of a global audience. Education leads to change, and Valera’s degree in Journalism and Ethnic Studies, has provided the awareness and passion to create immersive articles. The diverse content in Culturs gives the publication a strong opportunity to reach multiple readers from different backgrounds all around the world. Nothing is black and white, the gray in life is what makes everyone unique. Culturs focuses on this gray aspect, which will hopefully lead to a more interconnected global community.