The net is the refuge of loudmouthed Lenny Bruces everywhere. If you’ve never been offended online, you haven’t clicked very hard: Almost every entertainment website has at least one video clip that straddles the taste barrier. ”There are people that will do anything either to make a buck or become well-known,” says Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, Inc. ”If we don’t draw the lines, we’ll have more problems than we already do.” But how will you know where to draw that line without exposing yourself to some of what’s out there? So here’s a sample of the latest, and potentially most controversial, clips on the Web. Bear in mind: Some of this material also represents what’s so great about the Web.
Which is harder to believe: that this Jewish send-up of the Budweiser ”Whassup?!” commercials is still funny even after watching all those other ”Whassup?!” parodies, or that someone could find it offensive? Seeing Jews cut out from a bris, a funeral, and a bar mitzvah to kibitz on cell phones and shout ”Shalom!” is unholy enough that the video was pulled from an upcoming new-media entertainment conference sponsored by Robert De Niro. Oy vey! How offensive? Not very. A
The NAACP has joined the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium in protesting this series about a stereotyped Chinese manservant and his equally stereotypical white uppercrust employer. Ads for the new episodes are playing on the Howard Stern radio show. How offensive? Moderately. A
From Andrew Gurland, director of the short film Black People Hate Me and They Hate My Glasses, comes the revenge-fueled ditty Gramaglia. It begins as a men-are-scumbags plot hatched by two female roommates, and ends with one of them degrading herself for a false shot at fame and fortune. Is it real? Who cares, as long as Gurland, who just wrapped a feature for New Line called Cheaters, keeps testing our ability to figure it out. How offensive? Moderately. B
The Romp is among those Maxim-influenced websites that revel in pushing people’s buttons. This is a game in which you bullwhip a pinata that features an image of Don King’s head — prompting King to say: ”Oh, whip the black man. How clichéd.” Surprisingly, this hasn’t received nearly the attention from the NAACP that Mr. Wong has. The Romp does try to balance the racial scales: It makes a whipping boy out of pitcher John Rocker, who says, ”I think that Hitler dude was on to something.” How offensive? Very. D
This collection of clips is so skanky that I’m not going to give out the URL. If you’re sick enough to want to see Tijuana-style sex tricks and bone-breaking wipeouts, you’ll figure it out. How offensive? Ugh! F