Fiction Should Be Problematic


Photo by Bethany Spitzmiller

The James C Kirkpatrick library recently had a display of books that have been banned over time. Books get banned for a variety of reasons including racial issues, encouragement of “damaging” lifestyles, sexual situations, violence, witchcraft, unpopular religious affiliations, politic bias or inappropriateness based on age.

Written by Blair Miller, Reporter

  For the last couple of years, censorship has been increasing while trying to be more sensitive to the audience of today. Companies are erasing yesterday’s media. This is problematic because it’s removing history, establishes a precedent that when society doesn’t like something, that thing should just be deleted and it takes away an individual’s freedom to choose what they themselves decide is acceptable media to consume.

  “The Simpsons” removed the episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” from the third season. Some schools have been trying to get classic fiction like “Huckleberry Finn” banned. Even Dr. Seuss is not safe, having some of his books removed for offensive imagery. The classic character Pepe Le Pew was removed from the “Space Jam 2” movie. Even an episode of “Golden Girls” was removed for a period of time on Hulu.  While there are plenty of examples of censorship, media should not be removed or censored. 

The James C Kirkpatrick library recently had a display of books that have been banned over time. Photo by Bethany Spitzmiller

  It’s removing part of history.  Fiction is not only entertainment, but it is also culture. Each piece of media gives a window into the time period of which it was created. Erasing media is erasing a part of history. TV shows, books, and movies show how society has evolved over the years. History shouldn’t be removed just because it is ugly. People should embrace the good while also showing the bad. 

  The other problem with removing controversial media is that it creates the precedent to remove things in the future that people in this time period consider not problematic. Society has changed over time. What’s considered acceptable now may not be considered acceptable later. Also, what is acceptable now was not appropriate earlier. Remember, there were times when there were demands to remove “Harry Potter” from the shelves.

Photo by Sarah Sedgewick

  When people are offended by certain material or certain forms of media, they can simply choose not to watch or read what makes them uncomfortable. However, just because the material is offensive to some, this does not mean it is offensive to everyone. It also does not mean that nobody else should be able to see it. By banning and removing material, society is not allowing people to decide for themselves what is acceptable.

  Fiction should be allowed to be controversial and problematic. Fiction should not be this moral stature where what’s only allowed are certain views from certain people who have deemed what is right and wrong. Media should not be limited to only what is considered moral or acceptable for the time period. Fiction should be allowed to bring up views that are different. It should be a place to explore controversial topics and not be moralistic. By limiting what is shown and accessible, people are removing conversations and viewpoints.