Friday, 10 July 2015

Sheepish Humour - when the joke is on you.

It’s a comedian’s job to be funny and edgy and talk about difficult subjects that’s prevailing in society but like Trevor Noah, Jerry Seinfeld, Daniel Tosh, Chris Pratt and now Amy Schumer discovered - there is a line and if you cross it  - the Twitterverse will explode.  
How you handle this critique is what separates the sheep from the goats.  In this post we’ll tell you how to avoid the title of "virtual village idiot".


Amy Schumer is known and often praised for her controversial jokes about sensitive subjects like race, gender and religion. But like many of her co-workers her work was recently called ‘racially insensitive’ in an editorial and it was Schumer’s reaction that made the headlines as she got very defensive when she should have just laughed it off. She tweeted: "I ask you to resit the urge to pick me apart. Trust me. I am not racist. I am a devout feminist and lover of all people".


Schumer did do a 360 a few days later when she realized her mistake and owned up to it by apologizing directly to a fan on Twitter :"I used to do a lot of short dumb jokes like this. I played a dumb white girl onstage. I still do sometimes. Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence I stopped telling jokes like that onstage." She then tweeted: "I am evolving as an artist. I am taking responsibility and hope I haven't hurt anyone. I apologize [if] I did."

If a comedian can get this much backlash for making an inappropriate joke, just imagine how damaging “Sheepish Humour” can be to your brand.  It takes only 140 characters to ruin your career or to cause a social media disaster for your brand. 
The Golden Rules of using Humour on Social Media: 
* Don’t fall into the April fool’s Day Trap. Just because a day has been branded as Humorous, doesn’t mean you or your brand need to send out a funny tweet.
* Re-tweeting or 'Favoriting' an inappropriate joke makes you guilty by assumption.
* If your brand lends itself to Humour, be authentic in your content and stay clear of clichés, stereotypes and puns. 
* It’s a good idea to go through your time-line on each social media platform and screen your past content.  Look what happened to Trevor Noah when he was announced as Jon Stewart’s successor in March and was heavily criticized for tweets he send out in 2009 - 2014.
* If you are a corporate brand stay clear of joking about minority groups, politics, religion, race or gender.

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