Sweden's Advert Censor (RO) has criticized a Stockholm company for sexism after it used a popular meme alongside a recruitment advert.
The image, known by online communities as the Distracted Boyfriend Meme, is based on a stock photo of a man turning
away from his appalled girlfriend to look at an attractive woman. Swedish ISP Bahnhof used the image alongside a jobs advert; in their take on the meme, the boyfriend was turning away from your current workplace to stare at Bahnhof.
claimed that the use of the meme was gender-discriminatory, both due to presenting women as interchangeable and sex objects and presenting a stereotypical picture of men seeing women as interchangeable. Saying that it seems a little discriminatory to
stereotype men as always seeing women as interchangeable.
The original posts shared to Bahnhof's Facebook and Instagram pages received hundreds of comments. Many of these criticized the alleged sexism of the image, and the advert was reported to
the advert censor.
The PC authorities banned the use of background allegiances as a convenient tag or adjective for terrorists. Now the high priestesses of PC have taken umbrage at replacement tags.
Media outlets had for instance tried to downplay the common denominator
of islam by suggesting that terrorists were 'lone wolves'. Now the word police are claiming that the adjective 'wolf' has a positive tone, and so the media should find a new less positive term.
The #WordsMatter campaign also complains about the
use of the term 'mastermind' and nicknames such as the Beatles only glorifies them. The campaign also asks the media to avoid publishing images of terrorists in combat gear and using war terminology such as soldier, which serves to legitimise them.
The group has produced a series of short films just released on social media to air their opinions. The films have been produced by the Tim Parry Johnatha n Ball Peace Foundation, set up in memory of the two child victims of the 1993 IRA bomb attack
in Warrington. The foundation has also helped compile a Counter-Daesh dictionary.
The dictionary also warns care over using words such as jihad, jihadi, and jihadi bride which often ignore the complex religious meanings of jihad. If reporting
insists on its usage, ensure it is distinguished as violent jihad.
But forcing people to use the 'correct' words doesn't really work as intended. Artificial replacement words often emphasise obviously missing words more loudly than if they had
used the originals. Eg a news report obviously trying to avoid referencing islam shouts the unspoken connection as loudly as if it had been directly stated. Similarly the use of 'correct' PC terms emphasises the user's political correctness, and
distracts from what they are trying to say.
The new head of the Police Federation John Apter, who represents 120,000 rank and file officers across England and Wales, has said his members were incredibly frustrated because they have been assigned to sorting out social media spats rather than
tackling more serious crimes like burglary.
The new head explained that while resourcing remained the main issue facing policing, there was also a lack of common sense when it came to priorities.
Last week it emerged that Yorkshire Police
had asked people to report insults on social media, even if they were not considered to be a hate crime. Other forces have been criticised recently for using computer programmes rather than experienced officers to decide whether a burglary is worth
investigating. Such initiatives have led to criticism of the police and the observation that the service is out of touch with the public.
But Apter said nobody was more frustrated than police officers when they were prevented from attending
burglaries and other serious crimes. Burglary is one of the most intrusive, horrible crimes that a householder can go through. It makes you feel incredibly vulnerable, but people can sometimes wait days for a police response, Apter said.
Philosophers out seeking the truth on the Durham campus
A student editor at Durham university has been fired in a transphobia row after he tweeted that women don't have penises.
Angelos Sofocleous, assistant editor at Durham University's philosophy journal Critique , was sacked from his post
for writing a tweet deemed claimed to be transphobic by fellow students.
Sofocleous faced disciplinary action last month after he re-tweeted an article by The Spectator on his Twitter titled Is it a crime to say women don't have penises?, with the
comment: RT if women don't have penises.
The postgraduate philosophy and psychology student was dismissed from his position at the university after the tweet sparked 'outrage'. He was also fired from his position as editor of Durham
University's online magazine The Bubble , and ironically forced to resign as president of free speech society Humanist Students.
Sofocleous bravely stood by his comments, he wrote:
I may be wrong and
women might indeed have penises, although I don't believe that to be the case. But the backlash that took place after my comments, particularly within the organisation, convinced me that, unfortunately and surprisingly, there are certain issues within
the humanist movement which are undebatable.
No effort was made, beyond name-calling, derogatory comments, and ad hominem statements, to convince me of the truth of the other side's position.
Australia's Herald Sun newspaper has republished its cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams on a defiant front page in which it attacked its critics and foreshadowed a future where satire is outlawed. The front page reads:
WELCOME TO PC WORLD
If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed.
The page features a collection of Mark
Knight cartoons, including the depiction of Williams spitting a dummy and stamping on her racquet.
The cartoon, first published on Monday, was Knight's take on the tennis star's bad behaviour insulting the umpire calling him a thief.
The cartoon caused a reaction in the PC worlds some how suggesting that it is not allowed to mock the bad behaviour of a black woman.
Knight has rejected such suggestions saying:
I saw the world number one tennis player
have a huge hissy fit and spit the dummy. That's what the cartoon was about, her poor behaviour on the court.
I drew her as an African-American woman. She's powerfully built. She wears these outrageous costumes when she plays
tennis. She's interesting to draw. I drew her as she is, as an African-American woman.
South Yorkshire Police first tweeted a straighforward poster about reporting hate crime:
Hate can be any incident or crime, motivated by prejudice or hostility
(or perceived to be so) against a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. Hate hurts and nobody should have to tolerate it. Report it and put a stop to it #HateHurts
A couple of hours later the
police outrageously tweeted again suggesting that people should also report non crimes like online insults:
In addition to reporting hate crime, please report
non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it #HateHurtsSY
I wonder if they they
then explain to burglary victims that they are too busy to investigate such crimes because they are busy investigating non-crime internet insults.
French lawmakers have voted to outlaw catcalls as part of repressive legislation on sexual misconduct. As of next month, catcalling on streets and public transportation can result in on-the-spot fines of up to €750, with more for increasingly aggressive
and physical behavior. French junior minister for gender equality Marlène Schiappa said when the law was passed by France's highest legal authority, the Conseil d'Ã?tat, that harassment in the street has previously not been punished. From now on, it will
Included in the bill are new laws concerning consent for victims of sexual violence under 15, and an extension for underage victims to file complaints to 30 years after they turn 18.
Slender Man is a 2018 USA horror by Sylvain White. Starring Joey King, Javier Botet and Annalise Basso.
Slender Man tells the story of a tall, thin, horrifying
figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens.
Slender Man, as released in US theaters this week, is not a complete movie.
While originally the producers developed a much darker take on the character, bloody-disgusting.com were
told that the producer Screen Gems' mandate was that it should be PG-13. The target was and always has been for teenagers.
However insiders told bloody-disgusting that Sony/Screen Gems were succumbing to fear of a PC backlash that started when the
father of the girl who stabbed her classmate called it distasteful. 2018 isn't exactly the year of reason, and the studio was scared into back peddling their horror film.
The father of the victim whose life was nearly claimed by two girls that
worshipped the Slender Man had spoken out against the film, citing how they feel disgraced by Hollywood making a film about events that led to tragedy.
This also caused Sony and Screen Gems to release the film with very little promotional
materials to it and it did not screen for critics.
bloody-disgusting's sources confirm that several major scenes from the film were completely removed by the studio leading up to this past weekend's release. Slender Man, as presented to audiences,
isn't a complete film; many of the striking scenes that were teased in the first trailer, like one of the characters stabbing her eyes out, or another ripping her tongue out after encountering Slender Man in the woods, are completely missing from the
Kanata, an upcoming French play exploring Canadian Indigenous history, was cancelled on 26 July after some of the show's producers pulled out of the project following 'aggressive controversy'.
There were no Indigenous actors cast in the Robert
Lepage-directed production about fictional relationships between Indigenous Canadians and Europeans spanning 200 years.
It was set to debut at the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris this December.
The production created in a little controversy in
France due to politically correct concerns about the depiction of Indigenous peoples. The controversy led to North American co-producers pulling out.
Lepage's production company Ex Machina then said in a statement:
Without their financial support, we are unable to finish creating Kanata with Théâtre du Soleil. Therefore, we are putting an end to the project.
Théâtre du Soleil described the "attempted intimidation
of theatre artists" in its accompanying statement:
An intimidation unimaginable in a democratic country, that is carried out largely on social media networks in the name of an ideology that the Théâtre du Soleil
does not wish to qualify here but to which it will respond with its own tools.
The government of the Australian state of Victoria has banned Sky News from providing a news service for screening at Melbourne's train stations.
Jacinta Allan, Victoria's transport minister, took offence at a Sky News interview with the far-right
extremist Blair Cottrell. The interview was not screened on the train station service but clearly rankled the politician for its political incorrectness. Allan tweeted:
I've directed @MetroTrains to remove
@skynewsaustralia from all CBD station screens. Hatred and racism have no place on our screens or in our community.
The decision has sparked a backlash from Sky and other News Corp publications. Political editor David Speers said the
Andrews government was motivated by frustration over the coverage it received on Sky, and from the Herald Sun, which is also owned by News Corp. Speers said the network had confirmed the Cottrell interview had not aired on train station screens in
Speers also noted that Blair Cottrell has appeared in interviews on all the other Australian news channels too.
Even the streaming adult video site YouPorn has joined in with the internet co-conspirators banning Alex Jones' Infowars from their platforms. This follows widespread censorship from tech companies including Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and
Spotify--but notably, not Twitter.
In a statement, YouPorn vice president Charlie Hughes said Following news that YouTube, Spotify and Facebook have banned Alex Jones from their platforms, team YouPorn is joining in solidarity and announces we are
banning his content as well. As one of the largest user-generated content platforms in the world, we have already removed his videos that have violated our terms of service.
Alex Jones is noted for a major role in propagating some of the most well
known conspiracy theories in recent years, including Pizzagate and the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism. His support of theories that the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings were faked.
Yesterday, YouTube removed Alex Jones' channel , which
had 2.4 million subscribers, for violating its community guidelines, after issuing it a strike last month . On the same day, Apple removed Alex Jones' podcasts from iTunes , following similar actions from Spotify and Stitcher, and Facebook removed four
Infowars pages for violating its policies against graphic violence and hate speech. Pinterest also took down Infowars' profile following an inquiry from Mashable.
Of course the stupidity of the censorship is that surely not many people take Alex
Jones very seriously, its just entertainment. In censoring something that they do not like, they have surely done more harm than good by revealing that big tech marches to the tune of the PC left and is now part of the problem of an unfair and unjust
establishment. The technology companies have simply added to the fractious nature of the modern world.
Offsite Comment: Alex Jones and the rise of corporate censorship
The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA's) Complaints Board has found a TV commercial advertising new caramelised white chocolate biscuits was not racist.
The ruling comes after the board received a complaint that a TV advertisement
for Griffins' Toffee Pops claiming offensive dialogue with racist overtones.
The commercial featured three milk chocolate and one white chocolate biscuits on a plate, with the white biscuit saying it was a luxurious caramelised biscuit when told
its coating looked interesting by a fellow biscuit.
When a milk chocolate biscuit asks if it tastes delicious, former All Black Carlos Spencer bites into the white chocolate biscuit and says Mmm, that's delicious.
The complainant said the
narrative of the commercial was racist. The colour of a biscuit character's face is called into question in terms of whether they might be as good to eat as the other characters, they wrote. It encourages racism and with the animated style is likely to
appeal to children. Horrible and hateful role modelling in a multicultural society.
The Complaints Board commented:
There was a minority on the board that said there was a judgemental tone in the advertisement,
due to it singling out the white chocolate biscuit for looking different.
However, the board ultimately ruled the advertisement had not breached the Code of Ethics or Children and Young People's Advertising Code.
Amazon has removed products bearing Nazi and white supremacist symbols from its online store.
The retailer had faced criticism for letting sellers offer a variety of far right-wing paraphernalia including clothing and jewellery.
it had blocked the sellers of onesies with burning cross motifs, jewellery using the Nazi swastika as well as music and audio books pushing fascist views.
In a report released last month, the Partnership for Working Families and the Action
Center on Race and the Economy claimed Amazon was helping Nazi and modern white nationalist groups prosper by letting them sell their merchandise and materials.
The report prompted Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota to write to Amazon
expressing his alarm that it was allowing the sale of products that promote hateful and racist ideologies.
As well as stopping items being listed and blocking sellers, Amazon said it was now working to get the items removed from its fulfilment
centres. It said it used automated methods as well as teams of investigators to scan listings looking for items that break its policies or national laws covering hate speech, violence or racial intolerance.
Folsom Street Fair, the annual BSDM fair in San Francisco, upset photographers in 2016 with its Ask First campaign that asked photographers to receive permission before taking photos of people on the public streets of the fair. This year, the same event
organizers have released a warning that compares taking photos without consent to sexual assault.
The PSA image , was uploaded by Folsom Street Events to the page for Up Your Alley , a leather and fetish street fair held yesterday on Folsom Street in
SF. It reads: Gear is not consent. Nudity is not consent. Ask first before photographing or touching someone. No means no.
Folsom Street Events' street fairs are on public streets, and even though the streets are closed to traffic during the
events, the area is still a public place. On the flip side, nudity is prevalent during the extremely not safe for work street fairs, so it's a situation in which expectations of privacy collide with First Amendment rights to shoot photos in public places
Nathaniel Y. Downes , a freelance photojournalist who works for the San Francisco Chronicle commented:
The more harmful thing is that somehow the story has put photography and sexual assault
in the same mouthful. No matter the intentions, this is not a positive direction for photography to be moving in the public eye.
I have been to the fair a few times and have never taken pictures. But as a photographer, it hurts me
to think that some people see photography the same as sexual assault.
Over 100,000 people have signed a petition against the release of the Netflix TV show Insatiable , accusing it of 'fat shaming'.
But to date it is still unknown what exactly is the plot line and whether there is any 'fat shaming' going on. 12
hour-long episodes of Insatiable will be released on Netflix on August 10.
Netflix describes Insatiable as a dark, twisted, revenge comedy, but will also delve into topics such as bullying, eating disorders and body image.
It follows Ryan
as the unfortunately-nicknamed Fatty Patty as she gets bullied for her weight by her high school peers. After having her jaw wired shut as a result of someone punching her in the face, she undergoes a transformation and becomes slim, hot, and vows to
take revenge on the mean girls who tormented her.
Social justice warriots went on the warpath after Netflix released the official trailer for Insatiable. An online petition was subsequently created by a woman named Florence, calling for the
programme to be banned. In the petition, Florence writes:
The toxicity of this series, is bigger than just this one particular series. This is not an isolated case, but part of a much larger problem that I can promise
you every single woman has faced in her life, sitting somewhere on the scale of valuing their worth on their bodies, to be desirable objects for the male gaze. That is exactly what this series does. It perpetuates not only the toxicity of diet culture
but the objectification of women's bodies.
The Daily Mail is hyping some cinema 'outrage' about a new children's film opening this week, Show Dogs . The Mail writes:
Parents have reacted with fury after British cinemas are still showing scenes from
Hollywood film Show Dogs that were banned in America months ago because they were deemed inappropriate for children.
The film features scenes touch in hyper sensitivity of PC extremists about consent and touching relating to dogs
In one scene the dog has his genitals inspected and is told to go to a zen place and in a later scene urged to overcome his resistance to being touched so he can become a champion.
Moralist campaigners first raised concerns about
the scenes in the United States and Global Road Entertainment, who distribute the scene said it decided to remove two scenes from the film 'Show Dogs that some have deemed not appropriate for children.'
Of course the British 'outrage' is pretty
minimal and was spotted mostly in a few angry tweets. One mother from north London, who asked to remain anonymous, told MailOnline:
Expecting that the scenes had been cut I didn't think twice about taking my
four-year-old. So it was quite shocking to discover that the scenes appeared to still be in there - with one of the dog characters being coached to go to their 'zen place when the judges were going to inspect their genitals.
was repeated a second time towards the end of the film, when the character of Max the dog has the inspection.
It wasn't a packed viewing but a few of the parents of the younger children immediately covered their ears and asked
them to look away.
Annoyed parents have also been in contact with the BBFC about the contentious scenes. The BBFC responded that the scenes are entirely innocent, non sexual and occur with in the clear context of preparing for and
judging in a dog show
The King and I is back in the West End, 67 years on from its Broadway debut.
But its portrait of a white woman being both fascinated and repelled by a society depicted as both backward and barbarous is winding up a few PC critics.
Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish whinges The King and I one of the most problematic musicals of the 20th Century American canon. Michael Billington expresses similar sentiments in The Guardian , saying it seems to endorse the idea of the civilising
influence of the west on the barbaric east.
The Independent's Paul Taylor detects a smack of imperial condescension to this story of a widowed, well-bred Victorian governess who... gives a funny foreign despot... a stiff dose of Western values.
Time Out's Andrzej Lukowski, meanwhile, calls the musical kind of racist ... like an elderly relative who you make allowances for on grounds of age.
Director Bartlet Sher responds that the show remains resonant, powerful and extremely
well-conceived. He also dismisses suggestions the piece has dated, saying its views on colonialism, gender equality and the conflict between modernity and tradition make it as timely and powerful as ever.
I wonder if these PC critics would have
banned British cave rescuers from helping out in Thailand lest heroically saving children's lives affirms 'white saviour' stereotypes.
Offsite Comment: The King and I : a West End treat
The Montreal International Jazz Festival has explained its decision to censor a show featuring a white woman singing songs composed by black slaves.
Festival CEO Jacques-Andre Dupont said the decision to abruptly cancel SLAV partway through its
run was made for a mix of technical and human reasons, including security concerns raised by the escalating vitriol surrounding the show. He also said that the show's star, Betty Bonifassi, had broken her ankle and indicated she was no longer able to
He said that while many protesters were peaceful, the festival and the theatre where the show was performed were concerned by the aggression of some protesters and the rising division and anger surrounding the show. He said Bonifassi's
decision to not continue was prompted both by her injury and the criticism.
Dupont said the festival and the production company would absorb what he said would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses associated with cancelling the show,
including paying the performers.
SLAV, one of the hottest tickets at this year's jazz festival, was the subject of protests claiming 'cultural appropriation' of black culture and history. It was described as a theatrical odyssey based on slave
songs and a journey through traditional Afro-American songs, from cotton fields to construction sites, railroads, from slave songs to prison songs.
Black activists denounced the show and its mostly-white cast, and U.S. musician Moses Sumney
cancelled a gig at the festival in protest.
Amid a storm of international media attention, the festival announced Wednesday it was cancelling the remaining performances and apologizing to anybody who had been hurt.
The renowned Quebec
playwright Robert Lepage who directed the show criticized the decision to cancel it, calling it a direct blow to artistic freedom. He said in a statement that actors pretending to be someone else is at the very heart of theatre:
When we are no longer allowed to step into someone else's shoes, when it is forbidden to identify with someone else, theatre is denied its very nature, it is prevented from performing its primary function and is thus rendered
A shock poll by Reuters/Ipsos reveals that the Democrats are shedding millennial votes, with support dropping by 9% since 2016. This shift is most pronounced among white millennial men, who now favour Republicans over Democrats by 11%.
Democratic Party seems to have adopted a rather toxic mix of identity politics and political correctness that blatantly sneers at white folk, especially men. So perhaps it is hardly surprising that the party has been losing support from white millennial
men. But the party's malaise seems more widespread than that, plenty from the minority communities are voicing their disquiet at being presented in a permanent state of victimhood, especially as the previous administration didn't actually do anything to
help them break out from such a state.
Anyway a passionate and eloquent YouTube video by Brandon Straka seems to have inspired a movement to #WalkAway from the Democratic Party. Straka notes of his original reason for aligning with the Democratic
Party was his belief in free speech and equality for all. And then insightfully notes that as the party lurches towards identity politics and authoritarianism, then he cites exactly the same reason for walking away.
I suspect that Donald Trump has
changed politics around the world for a few years yet to come. You may, or may not, agree with his policies, but he has been seen to be going out on a limb to do something positive for his electors. Maybe it is no longer enough for other parties just to
utter fine words, and do little more. People now expect their representatives to do something that actually helps.
Suddenly It's Spring That's Oxford, 17 March 2018, 11:20
That's Oxford is a local television service for Oxford and the surrounding area.
Suddenly It's Spring was a children's cartoon made in 1944,
featuring the doll Raggedy Ann setting out on a mission to ask the Sun to shine on her poorly owner. On her journey she was shown asking other weather elements, Mr Cloud, Mr Breezy and Mr Zero to assist her.
Ofcom received a
complaint that the character of Mr Cloud was depicted as an offensive and outdated racial stereotype of a black person. Mr Cloud was depicted in the cartoon as a black person from the deep south of America with exaggerated facial features. In addition,
he was portrayed as indolent with slow, slurred speech.
Rule 1.3: Children must206be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them206.
Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material
which may cause offence is justified by the context206Such material may include, but is not limited to, ...humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of...race....
The Licensee accepted that the cartoon contained a racial stereotype that was likely to cause offence and apologised for any offence caused.
Ofcom considered whether the
characterisation of Mr Cloud in this cartoon was unsuitable for children. In Ofcom's view the exaggerated facial features and indolent nature of the character reinforced an outdated, pejorative and harmful racial stereotype of a black person which was
not suitable for children to view.
Rule 2.3 states that in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that potentially offensive material is justified by the context. Context includes, but is not limited to,
editorial content of the programme, warnings given to listeners, the time of the broadcast and the likely expectation of the audience.
We first considered whether this content was potentially offensive. Given this cartoon included
a negative stereotype of a black person, which reinforced racial prejudice, Ofcom was of the view that this material was also highly offensive.
We next considered whether there was sufficient context to justify any potential
offence. We acknowledged this cartoon dated from 1944 when there were very different attitudes towards portrayals of race and when race discrimination was prevalent. We also accepted that with the appropriate level of context such archive material may
still be broadcast. However, in our view UK audiences today would find such racial stereotyping highly unacceptable and out of step with generally accepted standards as it was broadcast in this case. Therefore, the broadcast of this offensive content
without a warning or any other context was also a breach of Rule 2.3.
Instagram has apologised for censoring a photo of two men kissing for violating community guidelines.
The photo - featuring Jordan Bowen and Luca Lucifer - was taken down from photographer Stella Asia Consonni's Instagram.
A spokesperson for
the image sharing site regurgitated the usual apology for shoddy censorship saying
This post was removed in error and we are sorry. It has since been reinstated.
The photo was published in i-D
magazine as part of a series of photos by Stella exploring modern relationships, which she plans to exhibit later this year. It only reappeared after prominent people in fashion and LGBT+ rights raised awareness about the removal of the photo.
New theatre audience advisories in Canada are warning about specific plot points that could trigger emotional trauma for those of a snowflake disposition.
This spring, Western Canada Theatre attached a warning to Children of God, a musical
about residential schools, that indicates the production's mature and potentially triggering scenes involving residential schools and sexual abuse.
A subsequent production, Armstrong's War , a play about an Afghan War vet, came with the
This hard-hitting yet inspiring drama about bravery and survival contains some potentially triggering content about the horrors of war and mental illness.
And unsurprisingly the
trigger warnings have sparked a bit of a debate.
James MacDonald, artistic director of Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, B.C., is in favour of using trigger warnings where the material justifies it.
I think if
we inform the audience beforehand, and they're not blindsided by it, then they don't have a negative reaction to it.
MacDonald said he saw a need for trigger warnings after his company staged a play that featured a scene of a daughter
being sexually abused by her father. He said:
Even though we had put a content warning on the play to say that there was adult content and scenes which may disturb people, that particular scene evoked many reactions
and responses from the audience, and they felt like they were blindsided by it.
For other theatre professionals, trigger warnings are the very antithesis of what theatre is designed to do: provoke reactions.
Theatre specializes in English-language plays written from women's perspectives and often features plays about challenging subject matter, like rape and violence against women. But there isn't a trigger warning anywhere in sight. Imago's artistic
director Micheline Chevrier explains:
I think we have to be careful with trigger warnings. I'm not a fan of wanting to tell somebody exactly everything they're about to experience.
trigger warnings are the first step toward avoidance of difficult material altogether, a slide into self-censorship by playwrights and directors afraid of offending patrons.