At the time of writing (12 June), stand-up comedian Jocelyn Chia has yet to respond to the online criticisms she got for the offensive remarks about the missing flight MH370.
Apart from defending her jokes by saying “It’s been long enough since the flight went missing”, she has yet to issue an apology, which many Malaysians have been expecting her to do so. While many local comedians are also not fond of her “jokes,” American comedian Chrissie Mayr thinks Jocelyn owes no one an apology.
“She’s doing her job to be funny”
In her Twitter post not long after Jocelyn’s remark blew up on the Internet, Chrissie said that it’s never part of a comedian’s job to avoid a subject that will trigger the sensitives. This is simply because it’s a comedian’s job to be funny.
“I really hope Jocelyn doesn’t apologise for this great joke,” Chrissie said.
Many Americans, who found the bit funny also voiced their support for Jocelyn in the comment section. Her tweet did not take long to circulate, and it was not spared from Malaysians’ wrath. Despite so, Chrissie appeared to be unaffected by the criticisms she received from Malaysians, and in fact, she “welcomed” all the ideas to make jokes about the 9/11 attack.
She also took the opportunity to poke fun at many Malaysians who commented on her Twitter posts.
In the meantime, an article from The Merdeka Times about Chrissie supporting Jocelyn’s jokes also got her attention, which had her wondering if “lacking in sense of humour” is a cultural thing.
In response to some comments from Malaysians about making a 9/11 joke, the producer of Chrissie’s podcast, Frank Pellegrino said that many Americans started to make jokes about the tragedy a week after it happened.
The Singapore government has since apologised for Jocelyn’s offensive remarks and clarified that she is no longer a Singaporean.
9 years later, the MH370 tragedy has left many families grieving and mourning, until today. Similarly, many heartbroken families are still reeling from the loss of lives in the 9/11 tragedy, which happened nearly 22 years ago.
What happens when a “joke” reminds us of our loved ones who are no longer with us? Do we voice out about the remark that triggers the pain..that reopens the past wounds, or do we ignore it and move on?